Mims Bledsoe toes the thin and flavorful line between sweet and savory well. Bledsoe, the owner and baker at Atlanta's newly opened Pie Shop, changes the all-pie menu each week, crafting a mix of classic and inventive desserts. But there is always an option that is both sweet and savory. Past creations have included cherry with habanero, sweet tomato and savory butternut squash. One of our favorites is her classic apple pie with a generous mound of bacon-streusel topping. The changing menu renders a slice of Pie Shop's apple-bacon pie elusive, but now you'll be able to bake this superb pie in your own kitchen week after week, a delicious--though possibly dangerous--prospect.
Apple-Bacon Pie with Gingersnap Crust
Recipe adapted from Mims Bledsoe, Pie Shop, Atlanta
Yield: One 10-inch pie
Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
4 to 5 medium Granny Smith apples--peeled, halved and cored
Juice of 1 large lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 strips applewood-smoked bacon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
1. Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, fold together the crushed gingersnaps, melted butter and sugar. Press the mixture into a 10-inch pie pan until flat and even. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the edges start to set, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
2. Make the filling: Thinly slice the apples. Place them in a large bowl and drizzle the lemon juice over the slices. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. Fold the mixture into the apples until the apples are just coated. Spoon the apples into the reserved crust.
3. Make the topping and bake the pie: Increase the oven temperature to 375°. In a medium skillet set over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until crisp, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain the slices on paper towels and set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, mix the butter into the flour and sugar mixture until pea-size clumps form. Crumble the cooled bacon and add it to the flour mixture. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the apple filling and place the pie in the oven. Bake until the top is browned and the apples are tender, about 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.