I've always liked the idea of a savoury apple pie and so this week, I finally made one. It wasn't particularly adventurous as I went the conventional route on flavour pairings—and really it was more of a tart than a pie—but as a concept I think it's definitely got potential.
Of course, being made from apple they weren't truly savoury, but using a tart variety and offsetting their inherent sweetness with the bitterness of walnut and a pungent, bitey blue cheese did help to push this classic, humble pie in a more adventurous direction. Switching the usual rich and buttery shortcrust for a lighter, olive oil-based version also added a pleasant earthiness and further helped transition the pie from dessert plate to main course.
While nice on their own I found these little pies went particularly well with a big wedge of fricandeaux, and I wager would make a great addition to one of those casual, pick-at lunches that invariably winds up stretching well into the eve. Pairing beautifully with pork, this savoury take on the ol' apple pie certainly makes for an impressive addition to your charcuterie accompaniments list.
APPLE & CARAMELISED LEEK PIES (Pastry adapted from this recipe by Chocolate & Zucchini)
For the olive oil crust:
- 125 g wholemeal flour
- 75 g bread flour
- 50 g spelt flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 60 ml olive oil
- 125 ml water, cold
For the filling:
- 1 knob butter
- A splash of olive oil
- 4 small leeks, thinly sliced
- 3 small Granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- The juice of half a lemon
- 2 tsp raw sugar
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 2 handfuls walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 50 g blue goats cheese
First make the pastry by combining all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the oil and mix with a fork, then add the water and continue to mix until it is absorbed. Lightly knead the dough until it just comes together then press into a disc, wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling by melting the butter and olive oil in a medium pan and then sautéing the leeks over a low heat for 20-30 minutes, until lightly caramelised. Toss through the apple, lemon juice, sugar, walnuts and thyme. Remove from the heat (you're not looking to cook the apples here, just soften them a little using the residual heat from the leeks), season with salt and pepper and leave to cool.
On a lightly-floured surface roll the pastry to a thickness of 2-3-mm and cut out four, 16-cm-diameter rounds, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper. Toss the crumbled blue cheese through the apple mixture and then place a pile of filling in the centre of each pastry circle, leaving a 2-cm rim around the edge. Brush with water and then fold the edges up over the filling, crimping it as you go. Brush the pastry with egg wash and then bake in a oven preheated to 200°C for 25-30 minutes. Garnish with toasted walnuts and a sprig of thyme. Serve as is, or with something porky like a terrine or fricandeaux.