Use a favorite pork sausage, a mix of tart and sweet apples, and a flavorful apple cider or juice. The liquid will intensify in flavor, much like boiled cider, when reduced.
I like to pair this filling with a cheddar cheese crust either with or without a bottom crust. Don’t worry if there is extra moisture released in the bake from your fresh juicy apples. That bottom crust will soak up the delicious flavor.
Makes one 9-inch deep-dish pie
SAUSAGE AND APPLE PIE
- 1 recipe Cheddar Cheese Crust (below)
- 1 pound (454 grams) ground pork sausage, cooked and drained
- 2 to 3 tart apples (such as Granny Smiths) cored and sliced or roughly chopped
- 2 to 3 sweet apples, cored and sliced or roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon (a pinch) salt
- 1 cup (248 grams) apple juice or cider
- 1/3 cup (73 grams) brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon fresh diced rosemary
- 1/4 allspice
- 1 egg
CHEDDAR CHEESE PIE DOUGH
- 2 1/2 cups (363 grams) all-purpose flour, unbleached (use dip and sweep method), plus additional for rolling out dough
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
- 1/4 pound (115 grams) Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese or other sharp cheddar cheese, grated and chopped fine with a knife (about 1 cup grated)
- 8 tablespoons (112 grams) salted or unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
- 6 to 8 tablespoons (88 to 118 grams) ice water
Make the Cheddar Cheese Dough: Combine all ingredients but the ice water in a large bowl. With clean hands or a pastry cutter, blend the mixture together until it looks like coarse meal with some lumps in it.
Sprinkle 6 tablespoons ice water over the mixture and stir lightly with a fork.
Squeeze a handful of dough together. Mix in a bit more water as needed.
Divide the dough in half and make two chubby discs about 5 inches (12 centimeters) across. Wrap the discs separately in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
To make the Sausage and Apple Pie: 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.
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.
Spoon the sausage into the apple mixture, pour over the reduced cider, and mix well.
Adjust the salt to taste and let the filling cool.
Roll out the bottom crust and place in your pie pan. Add the filling.
Roll out the upper crust and place it on top. Seal the edges, crimp, and vent.
Make an egg wash by beating together the egg and 1 tablespoon of water with a fork. Brush the pie with egg wash.
Bake at 400° F (205° C) for 40 minutes. Give the pie two more egg washes at 10-minute intervals during the first 20 minutes of the bake.
Let the pie cool for 15 minutes or more before serving