Pork Sausage and apples is a period concoction; pies are too, and putting anything in a pie goes back to the Middle Ages. I didn’t have any blackbirds to bake in a pie for the last muster but this seemed to satisfy.

Several members asked me for the recipe and as I didn’t have one, you’ll have to be indulgent as to quantities of ingredients. I’ll start with the crust . For meat pies, I like a lard crust. While flaky, they hold up better to the moisture and are substantial .

Pie crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  •  23 cup lard (or Crisco if you’d rather)
  • 5 -7 tablespoons cold water. I actually use vodka which I store in the freezer. it’s colder than water and the alcohol evaporates when baked.

Directions

  1. Put flour into a mixing bowl with the lard or shortning
  2. Using a pastry cutter or your floured fingers, cut the lard into the flour until it’s very crumbly.
  3. add salt and water.
  4. Mix until dough is formed.
  5. Roll out on flat surface.

I made the crust at home , rolled it out and on waxed paper and brought it with me. Since I made 2 pies, I did two batches which made 4 – 9 inch crusts. I put 2 of them  in pie pans and set aside while I made the filling.

Filling:

  • 2 lbs homemade lean pork sausage (or any kind you want)
  • 2 medium sized sweet onions, chopped fine
  • 1 medium red pepper, 1 small  green pepper, chopped fine
  • 6 medium apples (I used Macintosh but half whatever apple you have AND  half Granny Smith would be great.), peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb divided, grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1 tablespoon + of flour (maybe more)
  • 1 egg scrambled
  • 1/4 organic apple vinegar
  • 1/4 cup + Stevia (If it weren’t for my diabetic friends, I’d use dark brown sugar)

Directions:

  1. In a skillet, Crumble the sausage and brown it. Remove after it’s done and set aside.
  2. Deglaze with a little bit of vinegar. Then melt butter, add the onions and peppers and fry until semi soft and the onions are golden. Ad the apples and cook down a little.
  3. Add the sausage back to the pan and mix with the remaining vinegar and sugar or stevia. cook a little to combine.
  4. At this point, you’re done and then you fill the crusts high. the crusts should be in pie pans ready to be filled.
  5. Brush the egg on the sides and bottom of each crust.
  6. mix a bit of flour in the filling to bind the liquid when baking.
  7. Layer the cheese on top and fill each pie.
apples and sausage

Egg washed pie crust and filling

 

cheese

Add the cheese

Put the crust lids on, pinch the sides to close and spread remaining egg wash on tops. Cut vents in to let the steam out.

As to baking. , I put each one in a dutch oven and used what is described as a quick fire, coals on top and on bottom. If I was making this in my oven, I’d start at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes and them reduce to 375 for about 40 minutes or so.

pie baking

Dutch ovens are stacked with coals between. I turned them every 15 minutes.

I made a salad. The dressing was a simple dressing of 3 parts good olive oil (I used infused oil with lemon), a bit of Stevia or sugar, a pinch of salt and pepper and 1 part apple cider vinegar. Can’t get anything this good in a restaurant!!!

 

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Anyone for some humble pie?

To eat Humble pie is an excruciating experience. God knows, over time, I’ve put my foot in my mouth and lived to regret it to the point where I should say I’ve eaten size 9 foot pie.

I don’t know what made me think of that today but I searched around for the origin of the expression and brother, I came up with a doozy of a site. Bottom line, while the rich ate wonderful, big meat pies of all kinds, the servants were making theirs out of guts, hence “humble” pie for the class who ate what their betters wouldn’t.

Check out the origins of Meat Pies : British Food- The Humble Meat Pie

http://uk-ireland-customs-holidays.suite101.com/article.cfm/british_food_the_humble_pie

More delicious than chocolate (REALLY!)

Those of you who know me know that I’m an avid foodie. If I’m not burning food, it’s my apron or fingers that get scorched. Each month, I’ll post a Receipt that sounds intriguing. I’m hoping that you send me suggestions or receipts; if not, I’ll find a good one for us to try. After Old Christmas, I started daydreaming about Richard Ellis’s Home made mince pie in the little coffins. Oh Lord, I’m here to tell you that that man has earned his place in HEAVEN just on account of those little pies and making this indentured servant so HAPPY while she was gobbling them up! Richard, do you have an unmarried brother who cooks like you do?

 Here’s Hannah Glasse’s Receipt “To Make Mince Pies the Best Way” from The Art of Cookery, London, 1774

“Take three Pounds of Suet, shred very fine, and chopped as small as possible, two Pounds of Raisins, stoned and chopped as fine as possible, two pounds of currants, nicely picked , washed, rubbed and dried at the fire, half a hundred of fine pippins, pared, cored and chopped small, half a pound of fine sugar, pounded fine, a quarter of an ounce of Mace, a quarter of an ounce of Cloves, two large Nutmegs; All beat fine , put all together into a great pan, and mix it well together with a half pint of Brandy, and a half pint of Sack; put it down close in a stone-pot, and it will keep good for months. When you make your pies, take a little dish, something bigger than a soup plate , lay a very think crust all over it, lay a thin layer of meat, and then a thin layer of Citron cut very fine, then a layer of Mince meat, and a thin layer of Orange peel cut thin, over that a little meat, squeeze half the juice of a fine Seville Orange or Lemon and pour three spoonfuls of red wine; lay on your crust and bake it nicely. If you choose meat in your pies, parboil a Neat’s Tongue, peel it and chop the meat as fine as possible and mix it with the rest; or two Pounds of the inside of a Serloin of Beef boiled.” Molly burning something during Old Christmas (Pic courtesy of Richard Ellis) Check out these wonderful Blog spots about my favorite Christmas (and all year round) pie:

http://joannawaugh.blogspot.com/2008/12/christmas-feast.html

http://tasteshropshire.blogspot.com/2009/12/ludlow-food-centres-original-mincemeat.html