Sausage and Apple Pie: Breakfast... dessert... how about both?

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Chocolate-covered pretzels.

Baked Brie with apricot jam.

Kettle corn.

Do you taste what I’m getting at here?

The juxtaposition of sweet and savory/salty isn’t some surprising new trend. Roast meats have long been served with a sweet accompaniment: applesauce with pork, mint jelly with lamb, chutney with roast chicken.

But the sweet/salty/savory combo in baking is a bit more unusual. And it’s often a base sweet that’s served with a savory/salty condiment. Witness the oh-so-trendy caramels (or chocolate) with sea salt.

Or one of my favorite treats, Salty-Sweet Butter Pecan Cookies.

Personally, I’ve wondered for several years why Kettle Brand chips or some other “with it” chip manufacturer hasn’t come out with a salty-sweet potato chip. I mean, french fries and ketchup are basically salty/sweet; why not just take your basic salted chip and add a touch of crunchy sugar?

NO ONE listens to meeeeee…

If the potato chip equivalent of kettle corn sounds good to you, then you’re definitely into these seemingly opposing flavors playing nicely together.

And I bet you won’t be afraid to try this Sausage and Apple Pie.

We all love apple pie, right? And who doesn’t enjoy breakfast sausage?

So it’s just a small step to combine these two bold flavors in a flaky, buttery crust, and see what happens.

My opinion? These guys make beautiful music together. Especially when you add a sweet/buttery topping (think brown-sugar cured bacon).

Ready to cast aside any lingering doubts and take the apple-sausage plunge?

Let’s do it.

First step: Cook 1 pound of breakfast sausage until it’s nice and brown. Transfer the cooked sausage to some paper towels to drain and cool, and pour off most of the fat, leaving just a sheen in the pan. Set the pan aside for now; you’ll come back to it.

Did you know that by clicking anywhere on this block of pictures, you can enlarge them to full size? Go ahead, give it a try; it’ll work for any of our photos.

Next, the crust; I’m making a simple butter crust here.

Whisk together 2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour and 1 teaspoon salt.

Add 8 tablespoons cold butter, working it in until the mixture is crumbly.

Divide the mixture in half. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar to one half; this will be the topping.

Squeeze the remaining crust mixture into a cohesive ball, dribbling in a tablespoon or so of ice water if necessary to bring the dough together. Shape the ball into a disk. Place it in the fridge to chill and relax while you prepare the apples.

Start with about 2 pounds of apples, which is about 5 medium, or 4 large.

Peel, core, and slice the apples; an apple peeler/corer/slicer makes quick work of this task. You want about 6 cups of apples, more or less; don’t be fussy.

Transfer the apples to the pan in which you fried the sausage, and add the following:

1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup apple cider or apple juice; or substitute 1/4 cup boiled cider + 3/4 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar

Cook the sliced apples for 15 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the liquid is syrupy.

While the apples are cooking, go back to your pie crust.

Start preheating your oven to 425°F.

Roll the chilled crust about 12 1/2″ diameter. If it’s been in the fridge longer than 30 minutes or so, you may need to let it warm a bit; it should be fairly easy to roll, not stiff and unforgiving.

Place the crust in a 9″ pie pan. Crimp the edges of the pastry to make a nice-looking rim.

By the way, see how raggedy my crust is when I roll it out? This is kind of a hallmark of a high-fat crust; it’s tender, and tends to split around the edges.

But, who cares? Once it’s in the pan, it’s easy to patch any holes, and turn those ragged edges into something passably pretty.

OK, back to the apples.

See how the liquid is so bubbly that the bottom of the pan is showing in spots? That means the apples are ready.

Stir the cooked sausage into the apples…

…then spoon the filling into the crust.

Top with the brown sugar crumb topping.

Set the pie pan on a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet, to catch any potential drips.

Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then lower the oven heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes, until the crust is very brown. If the crust appears to be browning too quickly, tent it lightly with foil.

Remove the pie from the oven. Both crust and crumb topping should be golden brown.

The filling should be bubbling up through the crumb crust in spots.

Let the pie cool for 30 minutes or so before serving; it’ll be pretty messy if you don’t give the soft apples a chance to set up a bit.

So, what do you think – are you willing to give this pie a try? I usually served it at brunch, and even the reluctant tasters go back for more.

Now, for those of you who like to print out the recipe from our recipe site, and compare it to the blog pictures, you’re out of luck: while the blog matches the recipe’s filling, the crust is different. The crust I’ve just shown you is detailed in the “tips from our bakers” section of the recipe, though, so you can follow along there.

Please read, bake, and review our recipe for Sausage and Apple Pie.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. eroars

    First time at this site and I’m in love with this blog, thanks so much for a great post, the pics and the level of the detail are perfect for this wanna-be-baker! Can’t wait to give this recipe a try!

    Reply
  2. rochelle_keefer

    I have made this a couple times and my husband keeps requesting it. It’s delicious with the cheddar crust, but now I’m excited to try it with the crumb topping! I’ve used apple juice so far, but just ordered some boiled cider because I think the mixture would cook down to a syrup faster. With apple juice, at least for me, it took the mixture closer to 30 minutes to cook down the way I wanted it to look. After my apples got soft, I removed them and turned up the heat to reduce the liquid. Yummy pie though- highly recommended!

    One shortcut you can try (although once you’ve tried the Boiled Cider, this will be moot) is to use undiluted apple juice concentrate. Susan

    Reply
  3. sundance183

    PJ, would you serve any kind of “gravy” or sauce with it? And what, a green salad? Love the idea if I can figure out the rest of the details like those. Maybe fruit salad?

    If you’re looking to serve for a main dish – then serve with the green salad. If brunch or late breakfast is your time to serve this pie, then complement it with the fruit salad. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  4. glpruett

    Okay, PJ, listen: LOTS of us listen to youuuuuuuuuuu!

    And with good reason, too! This Sausage and Apple Pie looks incredible! Ever since I made Bacon Jam from MaryJane’s blog post some time ago, I’m nuts about the sweet/salty combo! We have out-of-town company coming this weekend, and this pie will definitely have a starring role. Thanks again for the new ideas you come up with to help us shine!

    Reply
  5. veralcarroll

    @Rochelle you will NOT be disappointed with the boiled cider — it is amazing and lasts forever.

    As for the pie itself, I LOVED it with the cheddar crust, it definitely goes well with the mixture of apples and sausage.

    Reply
  6. waikikirie

    Oh Boy!! I’m with glpruett…..Alot of us listen to you!!! I know if it’s a PJ (or MaryJane or Susan etc) recipe, it’s gonna be good. Can’t wait to try this. Don’t think the DH will want to try it (Silly man). I’ll save it for a BFF weekend, or when I go see my “other” Mom and “sister”…..Thanks again…xoxo

    Reply
  7. ncgma

    Oh my goodness…does this look wonderful. And I just happened to buy a pound of Neese’s Extra Sage Sausage (amazing NC local sausage) at the store today. Guess what I am going to do with it??? (And just happen to have some apples that need to be used up!…how fortuitous!!)

    Reply
  8. "Monica baker girl"

    Recipe actually has pie dough on the top and blog has crumbly top. So which one I should try? Crumbly top or rolled out top?
    The recipe page describes the crumble option in the tips section on the recipe. It’s completely up to your preferences- always nice to have multiple options! ~Amy

    Reply
  9. Candace

    Could this be made ahead and reheated successfully?
    I would suggest freezing the pie unbaked and baking from frozen when you are ready to serve. ~Amy

    Reply
  10. Mari

    I’ve done Bacon Apple Pie and it’s so delish! Am sure this would be delicious too! Gotta try it someday…or reserve it for the upcoming holiday!

    Thanks KAF!

    Reply
  11. MamaTess

    This looks like a special-occasion breakfast to me! I really need to get my hands on some boiled cider (haven’t found any in stores out here in SoCal :-(…) and may be trying the bacon jam recipe soon, too… I love reading all your adventures! Keep these “crazy” ideas coming!

    Reply
  12. rickgee

    Did I miss a step? The top crust was tasty but the bottom was a soggy mess! Did I need to pre-bake the bottom crust?
    I am sorry the crust was not done thoroughly. I know how disappointing that can be. The crust does not need to be pre-baked. There could be any number of reasons as to why your crust was not baked through like the sausage was not fully cooked or the placement of the pie in your oven. Please call us and speak to one of our bakers on our hotline at 1-800-827-6836. We look forward to hearing from you as we are happy to help! Elisabeth

    Reply
  13. "clintandamber@att.net"

    The first time I made this, I made it with the cheese crust. My husband LOVED it. For me, the sausage and cheese flavors over powered the apples. The next time, I tried the brown sugar crumb crust and this my friend was the jackpot! Next time I will do it with spicy sausage. This recipe is excellent! It was a little hard for me to step out of my box, but I am so glad I did. Both crusts are excellent, its just a matter of personal preference.

    Reply
  14. Ted

    Re: salty-sweet potato chips — here in Canada, one of the grocery store chains carries salted caramel popcorn. At least I think it’s salted caramel; it could just be a salty-sweet flavour. (Sorry, can’t remember; I usually stay out of that aisle, but I have had it and it was delicious.) Should be relatively easy to make, yes?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      I bet if you added a touch of sea salt to your favorite caramel popcorn recipe as it cools, you’d be well rewarded. ~ MJ

  15. Litabellel

    I’ve done something like this before… but not with a crumbly crust which is just freaking brilliant.

    My added liquid of choice? Maple syrup…

    Reply
  16. Vanessa

    Great recipe! I omitted the cheese in the pie crust. And used Maltese Sausages instead of normal ones. Instead of one big pie, I managed to make 12 mini pies as one of the starters for a dinner party, served them with shredded cheddar cheese and red leicester as a base. Everyone loved them! Am doing them again as small party pies for drinks am having at Christmas. Am sure they’re going to be a hit once more! Thanks a lot for sharing. Two thumbs up from sunny Malta! :)

    Reply
  17. Lynne

    Takes me back to college. Surprised? Well, even though most of the Commons food at college was forgettable at best, there were two dishes that were good enough to become part of my personal repertorie (I give up, I can’t spell that word today). Anyway, one was Chili Fritos (Fritos on the bottom of the casserole, chili on top, bake ’til hot, serve topped with cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes — sort of taco casserole).

    The other was an unnamed dish that was basically little link sausages browned, stirred into canned apple pie filling, and heated until bubbling hot. With a wedge salad this is one of my favorite cold weather suppers! You can chop the sausages into nuggets or leave them whole, ditto with the apple pieces. A little cinnamon is nice added in with the sausages.

    This recipe sounds like an upscale version. I’ll have to scale it down for two individual pot pies (there’s only two of us) and give it a try!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re so glad to have brought back that rare happy memory of college dining hall food (my favorite was always build your own nachos day!)! I hope you enjoy this one as much if not more! Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

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