Perfect for Fall: Comforting Sausage and Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust

October 11, 2016

Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life, the new best-selling cookbook from Kate McDermott, is this year's must-have baking bible. I've known Kate for years and I can tell you her passion for pies runs deep. She teaches Art of the Pie Camps and Workshops across the country and has finally put pen to paper in her gorgeous new book. Are you ready for your amazing pie-ducation? Kate's book is filled with sweet and savory pie recipes for each season of the year, but she goes beyond recipes and includes numerous baking tips and tricks, how to fill your pie, and even shares some of her life lessons. It's truly a book you will use and read.

Below is a comforting, perfect-for-fall Sausage and Apple Pie recipe featuring savory pork sausage, tart Granny Smith apples, aromatic herbs, and a scrumptious Cheddar Crust. Be sure to also get Kate's Quintessential Apple Pie recipe here and read more about her new cookbook!

Sausage and Apple Pie

"It was quite something to experience an entire photo shoot come to a halt when this richly scented savory pie emerged from the oven. After the last shot was taken, a green salad and bottle of white wine quickly materialized, but by the time I got to the makeshift table for a piece, the pie had all but disappeared." ~Kate McDermott

Makes one 9-inch deep-dish pie

INGREDIENTS

1 recipe double Cheddar Cheese Crust (page 63 or, for a gluten-free crust, 86)
1 pound (454 grams) ground pork sausage, cooked and drained
2–3 tart apples (such as Granny Smiths) cored and sliced or roughly chopped
2–3 sweet apples, cored and sliced or roughly chopped
¼ teaspoon (a pinch) salt
1 cup (248 grams) apple juice or cider
⅓ cup (73 grams) brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon fresh diced rosemary
¼ teaspoon allspice

Egg Wash
1 egg plus 2 tablespoons (30 grams) water, fork beaten

PROCEDURE

1. Cook the sausage and set it aside.

2. Place the apples, salt, juice or cider, brown sugar, thyme, rosemary, and allspice in a sauté or fry pan and cook on medium-low heat until you can just start to put a fork into the apples. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside. Reserve the juice.

3. Pour the juice into a small saucepan. If you have less than a cup, add more juice or cider to make 1 cup, then turn the heat to low and cook until the juice has reduced in amount to about one quarter its amount and has nearly caramelized. Be careful not to let it burn. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Spoon the sausage into the apple mixture, pour over the reduced cider, and mix well.

5. Adjust the salt to taste and let the filling cool.

6. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Roll out the bottom crust and place in your pie pan. Add the filling.

7. Roll out the upper crust and place it on top. Seal the edges, crimp, and vent.

8. Brush the pie with egg wash.

9. Bake for 40 minutes. Give the pie two more egg washes at 10-minute intervals during the first 20 minutes of the bake.

10. Let the pie cool for 15 minutes or more before serving.

Notes
This pie can be made with or without a bottom crust. Depending on the type of apples used, there may be a lot of moisture in the filling and the bottom crust will soak it up. It is delicious with a gluten-free cheddar crust, too. The cheddar cheese crust is a little sturdier than a crust
without cheese, so don’t make the edges too thick.


Poached Pear Sour Cream Caramel Pie with a Crumb Topping

Poached pear pie has always been a much-anticipated treat in our family and on 3.14.15, called “Pi Day of the Century,” we created a new version with layers of poached pears, caramel sauce, sweetened sour cream, and an oatcrisp topping. After it cooled, we served it to eagerly awaiting family and friends right at 9:26 p.m., the next three digits in pi.

Makes one 9-inch deep-dish pie

INGREDIENTS

1 recipe single-crust pie dough
1 recipe Crumble Topping (see page 95)
2½ pounds (1.1 kilograms) pears, ripe but slightly firm
4 cups (946 grams) apple juice
⅓ cup (33 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon (15 grams) freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup (118 grams) whipping cream
1½ cups (368 grams) sour cream
¼ cup (36 grams) flour
½ cup (100 grams) sugar
½ teaspoon powdered ground ginger

PROCEDURE

1. Roll out the bottom dough and place it in your pie pan. Trim the excess dough from the edges and crimp. Cover the pan with plastic and place it in your refrigerator to chill. Make sure your crumble topping is also chilling in the freezer.

2. Peel, quarter, and core the pears, and then set them aside.

3. In a non-corrosive braising pan, simmer the apple juice, sugar, and lemon juice for 10 minutes.

4. Add the pears and simmer until they’re soft, about 20 minutes. Remove the pears from the pan and set them aside to cool.

5. Turn the heat up and reduce the remaining juice by half.

6. Add whipping cream and stand back, as it will bubble up!

7. Cook for a minute or two more and remove the pan from the heat while it is still sauce and before it becomes caramel.

8. In a small bowl, mix sour cream, flour, sugar, and ground ginger. Set the mixture aside.

TO ASSEMBLE

1. Arrange the poached pears in the bottom of the pie pan.

2. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the pears.

3. Spoon the sour cream mixture evenly over the caramel sauce.

TO BAKE

1. Bake in a preheated 400°F (205°C) oven for 25 minutes.

2. Open the oven and evenly spread the crumb topping over the sour cream, and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes.

3. Remove the pie from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Serve
slightly warm.

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