Eli Cooks

Proving once again that bacon really does make everything better
October 9, 2008, 2:07 pm
Filed under: Dessert | Tags: , , ,

apple bacon pie

Sit down kids, it’s time for a story. A year ago two of my co-workers went to an apple orchard. On the way home, they stopped at a butcher and bought, among other things, cinnamon bacon. Now, they didn’t plan this, but once cinnamon bacon and apples were in the same car, it was only a matter of time before someone said “Bacon Apple Pie!” And so it came to pass.

piecrust (with bacon)

A pie was attempted that very day. It was made with care, with love, and yes, with bacon. And yet somehow the pie was bad. In fact the words used to describe this pie were “tasted like bile.” Immediately upon hearing this story, I denounced the failed pie-maker and I swore that I could successfully make a bacon apple pie…one that would be not just good, but transcendent.


I made plans with another co-worker to make this holy grail of pies. But somewhere along the line, things got a bit off course. We decided to use pears instead of apples. Then we decided not to make a pie at all. Maybe it was nerves, maybe it was just a creative inspiration…it was a year ago, I honestly don’t remember the reasons. But suddenly our plans for bacon apple pie turned into a bacon pear clafouti and a pear upside down bacon cake. They were both quite good, especially the upside down cake, but neither could be considered a pie by any stretch of the imagination. Nevertheless, I congratulated myself on a job well done and forgot about the whole thing.

bacon lattice

Until this year when I went to the orchard with my family. Suddenly I had an abundance of apples and no plans for them. And so, I embarked upon an epic quest to create the perfect bacon apple pie.

That quest, unfortunately, has not yet been completed. I have, however, created a very good bacon apple pie. It’s sweet, salty, a little meaty, just a bit smoky with a hint of spices. The thing is, it doesn’t quite feel like a cohesive whole. It’s more like a good apple pie with some bacon. The flavors complement each other well, but they haven’t quite merged into that transcendent whole-is-more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts experience that i just know this pie could (and eventually will) be. That said, this pie as is tastes pretty great; I have no qualms about posting this recipe. But that doesn’t mean I won’t continue to tweak it in search of perfection.

Lattice-Top Bacon Apple Pie  

The bacon lattice really doesn’t want to stay tucked in around the edges of the pie. Be sure to include extra bacon sticking off the edge of the pie and tuck it down the inside of the crust to help mitigate this. Also, having a larger rim of pie dough to extend a bit further toward the center of the pie would probably help.
The quality of the bacon here matters. You want a bacon with a good amount of fat for the lattice top, since that’s replacing the butter usually included in apple pie filling. You also want a bacon with a good flavor when fried and eaten alone, because that’s almost what you have on top the pie.
I should also admit that I used store-bought pie crust. Honestly, I think the stuff you buy in rolls in the fridge case is almost as good as home made and a hell of a lot easier.

1 9″ pie crust
3 strips bacon, chopped and fried crispy
6-7 medium to large tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used a combination of Cortlands and Ida Reds)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp Scotch (I used Johnny Black. You want something noticeably smoky.)
1/2 cup real maple syrup
6-7 slices bacon, halved lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the pie crust in a 9″ pie pan and leave the overhanging edges. Sprinkle the bacon crumbles over the crust.

Mix together the apple slices, brown sugar, nutmeg, cloves, cornstarch and scotch. Spread over the bacon in the pie crust. Pour the maple syrup evenly over the apples.

Arrange the strips of bacon over the top of the pie crust in a lattice, then fold the edges of the pie crust over the bacon and crimp.

Bake for about an hour, until the bacon on top is nicely crisp, the crust is browned and a knife pushes easily into an apple slice. (Happily, these should all happen at roughly the same time.)

Footnote: Before I made my pie, I did a few quick searches to see who else had already made bacon apple pies in blogland. The answer, shockingly, was almost no one. (Although I did steal the bacon lattice top idea from one of them.) Even with the full saturation of bacon into the blogosphere, it seems bacon apple pie is nearly untouched.


95 Comments so far
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That pie looks amazingly good. I’ve been thinking about baking apple pie for the last couple days and I think you just pushed me over the edge. Pig and apples were meant to be together. Thanks for the great idea!

Comment by Peter Mavrik

That’s just wrong.

Comment by Anna

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Well your recipe is going to be a big hit in the blogosphere…my blog will be featuring it tomorrow, and I know at least one other blog has done so already. Great work, beautiful pie!

Comment by marianne

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Thanks everyone…I knew this pie would be great, but I didn’t realize quite how popular it would be.

Comment by Eli

[…] the cake…er, pie. You can find the full recipe, more photos and a great backstory over at EliCooks. I’ve been toying around with adding apple pie to my Thanksgiving menu, since for some odd […]

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How about baking the pie inside a smoker?

Or crumble bacon bits in with the apples and bake with a regular latticed dough top?

Perhaps, soaking the bacon slices in vanilla extract before applying atop the apples.

Comment by OrangeneckInNY

Use bacon grease rather than shortening in the crust?

Good luck!

Comment by Bob


Comment by VC

You might try the traditional wedge of cheddar cheese (Texas)

Comment by Blaine

I really like the idea of baking the pie inside a smoker, although I think I’d up the sugar if I did that to keep it in the realm of dessert.

Making a crust with bacon grease sounds good too…although it does necessitate that I eat a lot of bacon to get the grease. But that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make!

I’ve also been thinking that the bacon lattice is just a bit hard to cut…maybe making individual sized pielets would fix that. A pielet along with some sharp cheddar would make a nice, not-too-sweet dessert.

Comment by Eli

I’m thinking pork chops and apples… there’s definitely a perfect match in here somewhere. Are you sure the cinnamon is the ingredient that links apples to bacon?

After you get this one right, how about something in lamb and mint jelly?

Comment by Scott Somerville

Yes! The boundaries of bacon have been pushed even further!

Comment by Jocelyn

OMG that looks beyond amazing! I must try!

Comment by Ashley

Wow! That is such a great idea! I’ve never really been excited about making Apple Pie, but this has really piqued my interest again.
Looking forward to the updated recipe.

Comment by Lori

I wonder if integrating the bacon crumbles into the filling rather than putting them on the bottom might make the pie feel more cohesive?

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Your pie reminds me of a family favorite: apple pie with milk gravy made with the drippings from fried salt pork. Salt pork and milk gravy are a rural tradition, not just here in Vermont, but in other parts of the country as well (there’s even a recipe in The Little House on the Prairie Cookbook), but I don’t know of anywhere outside of my husband’s family that they take the gravy from that meal and put it on apple pie. My husband’s uncle seems to have been the originator of the custom, but most of us like it. It’s at least as good as ice cream on apple pie.

Comment by Liz

Might I suggest piping some cream cheese onboard for decoration. I have a feeling that could up the ante in the taste stakes.

Comment by John Pate

ok i love the pie idea, though i would probably mix in some cooked lardon (like mini chunks of bacon)with the apples instead of a sprinkling bits at the bottom… not many mind you but a few.

would also go for the idea of half cooking the lattice bacon on a baking sheet, top with honey and cinnamon… that should add in enough sweetness but also mix the flavors a lil better

now…. if you could be a dear and mail me or toss the the link to that bacon pear clafouti i would be sooo happy!

keep coming up with apple and bacon ideas, we have a ton of both lol

Comment by shalla

My suggestion would be to toss the apples with
few onces of calvados before putting them in the crust.

Comment by Patrick

Thanks for all the ideas. I’ve got a lot to work with for the next time. As it stands right now, I’ll be making a pie crust with bacon grease and cheddar, sprinkling bacon in the crust, then filling it with apples tossed with bacon and calvados, then making a lattice of bacon soaked in vanilla, honey and cinnamon. I’ll top the whole thing off with more cheddar, cream cheese and salt pork milk gravy…on second thought, maybe I should take those one at a time.

Seriously though, thanks for all the suggestions. I’m really happy that people are enjoying this.

As for the bacon pear clafouti, I can’t seem to find my final recipe (it was a year ago) but I know I based it off this one. If memory serves, I used milk instead of half and half and added some bacon grease to the batter, then tossed in some bacon crumbles .

Comment by Eli

really weird, but very interesting! 🙂

Comment by dhconcerts

I am going to make this pie and add an idea or two of my own. Love you Big Brother…. thanks for sharing 😉

Comment by Danette Willingham

Pork sausage and apples are the classic combination, not bacon and apples. I wonder if sausage ingredients (specifically fennel) might help pull this together. I’ll try this for my vegetarian-with-a-bacon-habit sister and report back!

Comment by Suzanne

I cant imagine that this combination be taste very good. It looks pretty but yuck !!!! On the taste!!!

Comment by melanie

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the bacon pie idea!!!! Although I can’t stand cinnamon and apples. I use just a touch of nutmeg.
It’s not the cinnamon that ties bacon/apples or pork/apples. They just taste great together. So do apples and onions. My son and I tried that after reading Laura Ingalls’ Farmer Boy for the umpteenth time many years back. YUM. Now, I have to try apples/onions and BACON.

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My dad had a college prof who swore that adding a minced clove of garlic to apple pies was the secret to the perfect pie. It makes me wonder how it would interact with the bacon.

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This sounds similar to what my brother wants to try: bacon chocolate chip cookies. Although he’s not the inventor, but he’s compiling the ingredients. The photo he showed me looks so tasty though.

Comment by Monica

This does not look very healthy. I would love to see some pictures of the people who include bacon and other pork fats in their diet and their daily recipies. Hopefully they suppliment their diet with proper exercise to avoid related health issues such as clogged arteries and obsitey.

Comment by Chris Clark


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To Chris Clark:
Go to my blog, http://carbwars.blogspot.com, to see pictures of someone who eats tons of bacon (and butter, and steak, and coconut oil, and lard, and lots of good, natural fats). If you cut out the sugar, the fat (including saturated fat) will improve your blood lipid profile and all the other known markers for heart disease, help you lose weight, rejuvenate your skin, and cure most of the diseases of civilization. Recent scientific studies are showing that a luxurious low-carb / high-fat diet is actually the most healthful way of eating.

Comment by Judy Barnes Baker

Yes, onion might just be the secret ingredient to making this pie even more appealing. I’d toss chunks of onion in with the apples, so they would all cook together. BTW, I used to make oatmeal cookies with chopped apple and bacon in them, got the recipe from a Quaker Oats cookbook, and they were absolutely yummy. My kids devoured them.

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Looks great, but not too sure about the bacon part. How filling is it?

Comment by Jessica

Thanks everyone. I’m still kinda floored by just how much interest this pie is getting.

I haven’t had a chance to make another pie, but with Thanksgiving just around the corner, this will definitely make it on the menu this year.

Comment by Eli

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Pork with apple sauce is a traditional old favorite, so apple pie with bacon should be good too. I agree with the suggestion about using a little onion – and perhaps even some root veg (blanched parsnip? carrot?). Think of it a savoury pie, and pour some pork gravy over it at table. Serve with boiled potatoes and a sprig of parsley. I’d dive right in.

Comment by Brennan Young

“Steal?” No way! I’m totally honored and pleased that this concoction has become an Internet phenomenon. Mad props to you for the lattice crust….this is a beautiful looking pie!

Comment by Nancy W.

The style of writing is very familiar to me. Did you write guest posts for other bloggers?

Comment by How to Get Six Pack Fast

Someone here suggested throwing some onions in…You could do it with Vidalias because they’re sweet? I’m also a fan of the fennel idea.

I also like the idea of candied bacon on the top…

Comment by Lisa

Check out the program The Best Thing I Ever Ate on foodnetwork.com. They did an episode about bacon. Check out Dynamo Donuts in San Francisco. They have a Bacon-Apple Donut with maple glaze. We’ve looking at recipes to make this when I found this pie. I’m making it! I will try adding Vidalia onions, cuz I love fried apples’n’onions.

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Have you considered putting an eggwash over the bacon/crust?

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cover the bacon in brown sugar and you will need to incorporate eggs into the apple mix. i think you were originally trying for a dessert pie, but it should be a breakfast pie.

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I’d add candied bacon to the mix, either as a sprinkle topping or as an ingredient in the crust or mix. To make candied bacon, microwave till about 1/4 cooked, drain fat, sover a backing sheet in brown sugar, layer on the 1/4 cooked bacon, cover with brown sugar, bake in the oven until bacon is fully cooked, cool on baking rack and then snap apart to small candied bits.

Comment by Terry

Instead of a full-coverage bacon lattice, I’d go a bit more sparingly on top, maybe weave in some pastry lattice work alternating with the bacon? If the amount of bacon on the top is reduced, I’ add chopped bacon and a handful of 1/2″ cubes of some fancy medium cheddar cheese to the pie itself.

Comment by George

thank you for posting this – i made the pie for thanksgiving – and it was a hit! see: http://www.austinstair.com/blog.html

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I think that your problem may lie in the fact that you are still making a Fruit Pie and simply adding bacon. You may want to investigate making more of a Meat Pie and using ground pancetta or a courser cut of bacon ground up with spices and apples. A loose Pig in a blanket of sorts.

Comment by Delbo Bayou

Interesting idea, Delbo Bayou. Definitely worth considering. Although one of my primary points was that I wanted this to remain a dessert pie as opposed to a savory pie. I think that would take it squarely into the realm of savory.

Comment by Eli

Dude, try cinnamon and just a tad of cayenne pepper. Just a tad. I’ve been making unique bacon recipes ever since my wife was pregnant with my son and craved nothing else. That combination added to the maple syrup and nutmeg really tied things together.

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My sincere applause for a job well done. You are definitely one of the great minds of the 21st century.

Comment by Anthony Delgado

that is a great idea! bacon goes with anything. might try choclate coverd bacon on the pie.

Comment by chappy

Whoa! Bacon & Apple Pie! My head is spinning.

Comment by Laundry Bags

What about if you drizzled mapel syrup on top?

Comment by Mallory

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Hi, made your pie with a few modifications: left out the scotch, and used a sweet apple, instead of tart. Used far more nutmeg, but I know that’s not for everyone. I didn’t have cinnamon bacon, so I sprinkled cinnamon directly onto the latticed top before baking. I also tucked the ends of the bacon under the apples to prevent too much shrinking.

I made this for my husband, and on it’s second day he decided to reheat in in the microwave with cheddar cheese on top. It was amazing to have that melty cheese on there. I highly recommend it.

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thanks for sharing your recipes, your pies look great and make me hungry

Comment by Private jet charter UK

This looks amazing we are having a Bacon Block Party this summer, and I knew I wanted to make bacon chocolate chip cookies, but this has just became me main task for the party. THANK YOU for posting this!!!

Comment by Christine Bellamy

i have made a bacon apply crumble using some of your iders and using some of my own, like canddy the bacon with brown sugger and maple surup, using a singel molt wisky using bacon in the apple mix and in the crumble.

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Comment by Appaftynisha

You actually put bacon on an apple pie? I have never heard of this recipe. This is a new, yet creative concept. How did it taste. I would worry about the grease from the bacon cooking into the pie, but I will have to try before I judge it.

Comment by Diet Cookbook

Next time try adding some extra old grated cheese to your pie crust – after all, what’s better than bacon, extra old cheddar and apples? 🙂

Comment by Kate

i’ll try this recipes at home. I just know if bacon can be added in the apple pie. creative recipes. Good.

Comment by jhon

ok didn’t read all the comments so forgive me if it was mentioned, but what about maybe marinating the bacon in cider and brushing it with an apple jelly glaze? that plus tossing the bacon chunks in with the apples instead of just in a layer might help meld the apple and bacon flavors.

Comment by dee fenestrate

Eli, this is the 3rd year in a row that I will be making this pie, I love it and guests are always pleasantly surprised by how good it is. This being Portland, I have no problem selling folks on the concept, but it was an even bigger hit when I made it at my sister’s house in LA. Thanks for the recipe, I am off to “candy” my bacon.

Comment by kirk ohly

I just made this pie last night and it was absolutely outstanding. Thank you for the amazing recipe.

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Comment by spinning

Thank you for the great recipe. It was a masterpiece!

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Personally, I would add some shredded Cheddar cheese to the top. Bake the pie and add the cheese . Return to the oven until the cheese is melted. To me, the cheese would cut the sweetness of the pie and the saltiness of the bacon. Just a thought. 🙂

Comment by OwlOak

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