By Samantha Lim, Staff Writer
Sure, your parents told you not to play with your food, but that rule only applies at the dinner table. There are no rules in the kitchen, and being creative pays off. If your favorite pastimes include watching the Food Network, then you should know of the recent fad among chefs–mixing sweet and savory foods. This can be tricky, but using the right ingredients and proportions can yield spectacular results.
Here is a mix-and-match recipe that upon introduction, might raise some eyebrows, but when conventional apple pie meets bacon and cheddar, you get a mouth-watering twist. I started referring to it as ABC pie after noticing the coincidental initials. This recipe is a tad more challenging than previous Dorm Room Dishes, but if you follow the instructions, you will find it as easy as reciting the alphabet!
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Remove the pie crusts from your freezer and unroll them. If they are stiff, do not smooth them out using force because it might cause them to break into pieces. Defrost the pie crusts in the microwave, or lightly rub your hands over the surface of the dough. When the dough is supple, place one of the crusts in a pan, leaving the edges hang over the rim. There is no need to trim the ends since you will need them later. Momentarily set aside the other pie crust.
Some pie connoisseurs swear by green Granny Smith apples for the best apple pie, but I like red Delicious apples. Peel, core and slice the apples. In a large bowl, toss them with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cornstarch.
Lightly cook eight of the bacon strips strips so that they are floppy, but the remaining should be crispy. Once cool, the crispy strips should be crumbled and sprinkled over the pie base. Scoop the apple mixture into the crust, covering the bacon bits. Pour streams of maple syrup over the contents of your pie.
The next step takes patience and practice. If this is your first attempt at making a lattice-top pie, I highly suggest looking up a Youtube demonstration. Use a sharp knife to cut the other unbaked crust into 9-inch long strips. Arrange the strips and and eight pieces of bacon to form a crisscross pattern. Fold the excess edges of the bottom crust over the top. Tuck the ends of the lattice-top under the fold, and use a fork to press down along the rim.
Baking time totals an hour. Pierce with a knife to check if the apples are soft and cooked. When the bacon on top is crisp and the crust is golden brown, the pie is done. Sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese on top and dig in!
(Makes one 9-inch pie)
10 long strips of bacon
5-6 medium apples
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
2 tbsp and 1 tsp cornstarch
½ cup maple syrup
2 ready-to-bake 9" pie crusts
1 9" pie pan
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese