As a kid, I was all about The Brady Bunch. Our family of five gathered around the 19-inch black and white TV set (Dad now has a 60-plus inch screen to himself!) when The Brady Bunch theme song started.

One of the most memorable lines of the show was Peter Brady’s impersonation of Humphrey Bogart when he announced the evening meal menu of “pork chops and applesauce.”

I’m not sure I paired apples with pork before that time, but we keep applesauce on hand as a side perk specifically for pork chops or ham or pork loin roasts.

I’ve made my share of popovers and rustic hand pies in my life, but the idea of combining my favorite Granny Smith apple with sausage had never come to me before I looked through some of Grandma Arlene Holtzclaw’s hand-me-down recipes and found a clipping from some grocery item.

I’m not sure what’s better than pie crust, sausage and tart apples. It’s called a hand pie, but I use a fork and a plate. I wouldn’t want to drop a bite!

Rustic apple sausage hand pies

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced

½ sweet yellow onion, diced (I omit the onion and add a little more apple)

½ teaspoon herb blend

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Dash red pepper flakes

Pie crust (enough for a 2-crust pie) rolled and cut into 8 rounds, 4-inches each

1 (5-7 oz) package breakfast sausage patties

½ cup Swiss, gruyere or sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

1 egg

1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 350 F, Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat butter and olive oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced apple, onion, herbs, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Sauté until onion is translucent and apple has softened. Remove from heat.

Space four of the 4-inch pie crust rounds on the baking sheet, two inches apart. Place one sausage patty on each round, top with one tablespoon apple mixture. If desired, sprinkle cheese on top of mixture.

In small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Brush egg wash around outer rim of each bottom pie crust. Cut a few slits in middle of remaining four pie crusts and drape over top of prepared hand pies. Gently pull bottom crust edge of each pie up and over top crust creating a sealed edge all the way around. (Be sure to tuck top crust into bottom crust.)

Brush entire hand pie with egg wash and crimp edges with fork. You can sprinkle the top with coarse salt and/or black pepper.

Bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Email Andrea Howe at ahowe@mtcarmelregister.com.

— Email Andrea Howe at ahowe@mtcarmelregister.com

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