While trying to think of unique dessert ideas for Father’s Day, I texted my brother to ask what he’d consider an ideal dessert. His answer: “Something with bacon!” My first thought was wrapping something in bacon. Obviously. There are recipes for wrapped meatloaves and turkeys, so surely, I could come up with something sweet to wrap in salty goodness. I had seen an idea for using a cupcake tin upside down to form bacon baskets… and thus the idea for bite-sized bacon-wrapped apple pies was born.
Before we get to the recipe, here are a few tips I learned while experimenting with this fun idea:
1. You don’t need to cook the bacon upside down on the pan first. Because pies take a little longer to bake, there’s plenty of time for the bacon to cook at the same time. Lesson happily learned!
2. Keep the fattier side of the bacon on top as you line the cupcake cavities, especially if you like crispy bacon.
2. If you’ve ever watched “The Great British Baking Show,” you know that judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry frequently critique soggy-bottom pies. And because of the fat from the bacon, this was a concern as I was testing this recipe. My big secret: Using a 1:1 ratio of ice-cold water and vodka. The alcohol content evaporates fast, helping minimize sogginess and creating a super-flaky crust. Even with the bacon cooking under the pie crust, there was no sogginess at the end of my bake. Hooray!
To make these bacon-wrapped apple pies, you’ll need:
Pack of bacon, set aside for lining cupcake cavities
Start by making the dough, since it needs time to chill first.
Mix the dry ingredients and add the cubed, chilled butter.
Using a pastry cutter or a fork, work the butter into the flour mixture.
Add the ice-cold water and vodka, and work the dough together by hand. Once it’s smooth and incorporated, cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
While it chills, prep the apples. Sprinkle the sugar and spices over the diced apples, and stir so they’re evenly coated. Set them aside.
Line each cupcake cavity with a single piece of bacon. It will partially overlap, but that’s OK!
After the dough has chilled, roll it out and cut it into 3-inch circles. (A silicone cupcake liner works well here to help you press the dough into the cupcake cavities.) Once they’re all lined with bacon and pie dough, scoop the apples into the center.
Now, here’s where you can get creative. You can create the standard circle of dough to cover the top — but you can also personalize the pie crust with messages to Dad, add dough and bacon rosettes, or even add something to symbolize his favorite sports team, superhero or movie characters. You can get the kids involved in personalizing the toppers for Dad, too.
Want Dad to have an extra-big portion? Weave the bacon into the bottom of a cast iron or tapas dish and build the rest of the pie in there.