This started as a joke, sort of. As one who has never liked, and therefore never made a good, apple pie, I finally made a perfect one the other day. It’s been something of a Holy Grail for me because I’m one of those people who was given the gift of being able to make just about anything without a recipe, just from imagination or after eating it somewhere else. So the other day I made a perfect apple pie – with a surprising ingredient twist. I posted that on Facebook and a friend said, “does it have bacon?”
Bacon? The idea amused me terribly, in part because the friend who suggested it is a Zen Buddhist, and the idea of a Zen Buddhist suggesting that I make a perfect pie more perfect by adding bacon just killed me. Not as much as if he had been a Zen Jew, but I don’t think they make Zen Jews.
So far, the reviews are unanimous. “Oh My God. Oh My Fucking God. Holy Sweet Jesus. Oh My God.” (We are not a religious group over here, those words are just sounds that come out when ecstasy or agony defy logic and linear expression.)
First, the secret to the pie that was previously the perfect apple pie. Balsamic Vinegar. No, I’m not kidding. My issue with apple pie has always been that it is textureless from a flavor perspective. It’s pretty flat and boring. So I pulled out my secret weapon, balsamic vinegar. This trick was taught to me by a toothless old woman in a small village in Italy, many summers ago. (That’s not the only secret to my amazing cherry pie, you’ll have to wait for the rest.) Suddenly, apple pie was amazing. That now seems like nothing compared to the Bacon Apple Pie that I just made. (Let me repeat, oh my fucking god.)
Not sure where to start here, but let’s give it a go. This pie only has a bottom crust, and is made unbearably perfect by a spectacular crumb topping with pecans and bacon in it. (Oh my lord!) The rest is mostly “just” an apple pie.
Pie Crust – just for the bottom. Make your own and use real lard for bonus points.
4 Apples – tartish, firm apples
4 Tbs (ish) Flour
1/4 Cup Flour (for the topping)
1/2 sitck (ish) of Butter
3/4 Cup (ish) Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup (ish) Pecans (finely chopped)
Bacon – 8 thick slices or so
Cook the bacon and break it into small little pieces.
Slice the apples thinly.
In a bowl, put in 4T of flour, 1/4 stick of butter in small chunks, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, cinnamon. Use a pastry cutter to mix it into a mealy consistency.
Add a bunch of maple syrup, and a little balsamic vinegar, to taste. Mix it all up.
Add in your sliced apples and about 2/3 of your bacon.
Use your hands to mix it all together until it’s all evenly mixed.
Put it in the pie crust.
Now make the topping…..
Put 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 stick butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar in an bowl and use a pastry cutter to make it all mealy.
Add the rest of the bacon and the pecans and mush it all together evenly.
Add a bunch of maple syrup.
Pile the topping onto the pie…. if you didn’t make enough, then make some more. This is the killer!
Bake at 350 until the goo is bubbling up all over the place and the top of the crust is browned.
And really, it’s just an apple pie, so wing it. Go with your instincts.
Needless to say, this is not low-fat.