September = Apple Pie Sandwich Time

Pies are love. And I looove pies. So much so that the boy I was dating in 1995 promised me a “life of pie” and I practically married him on the spot.

Okay, not really, no rings were ever exchanged. But while the boyfriend didn’t last, his vow did. My world has been packed with pie-related deliciousness ever since.

Now pie is the theme for this month’s Let’s Lunch* post, and I’m all sorts of giddy. I can’t wait to see what the other Let’s Lunchers’ made. Click here to jump down to their links. (Sweet potato pie! Sweet ricotta noodle pie!)

Over here in NYC, I whipped up a two-part pie meal. First up … Savory Apple Pie Sandwiches!

apple pie sammy

This sammy has apple pie components — sweet cinnamon baked apple slices and tiny pie-crust croutons — with pork and onions braised in apple juice on fennel-golden raisin-pecan semolina bread. (For cooking instructions, click here.)

Here are the cute, little, 1/2-inch pie-crust croutons:

apple pie croutons

And the fennel bread:

apple pie bread

I cabbed it to Rockefeller Center to meet up with Sandwich Surprisees, Julie and Brenna, two fab friends from my People days.

Here’s Brenna with a sammy:

apple pie brenna

And photo guru that she is, she took this photo of Julie with her sammy:

apple pie julie

I had two different variations of the fennel-golden raisin-pecan semolina bread — one that was flat and another that was a loaf. They munched on slices from the loaf first, then tried the sammies in the faux pitas.

“The bread is delicious, it’s like my favorite kind of Amy’s Bread,” said Julie. “I like the apples with the pork, and the pie crust croutons are good. I’d like it with more broth, because the broth is delicious and this bread can take it.”

“They’re like pie-crust Goldfish,” I said, and spooned some more of the braising liquid and onions on hers.

“Mmmm,” said Brenna. “I’m taking in how the fennel bread is working with the pork and the apples. This loaf tastes different than the other one, where you could really taste the fruitiness of the raisins, but it really works with the sandwich.”

“It’s like a flatbread,” said Julie.

“It would be great to have the broth in a cast iron pan to dip the sandwich in,” added Brenna.

She and I dipped the bread in the pork-y apple-y broth. The savory fruit-tinged liquid really made the fennel golden raisin bread shine, and I ate much more of it that way that night for dinner.

As a pie bonus for Brenna and Julie, I made Canadian Butter Tarts for dessert (with and without currants) following this recipe.

apple pie butter tarts

“It’s like chess pie, which I love,” said Julie, who tried one without currants.

“Oooh,” said Brenna. “I’d never be able to finish one because it’s so rich, but it’s so good.”

“Then it would be great with ice cream,” I said. And now I’m going to eat one with a scoop just to see if I’m right. (Yep, I’m right!)

Sandwich Surprise is always up for expanding its circle of food friends and potential Sandwich Surprisees! Subscribe to my blog, or click here to follow my Twitter account, or here to like my Facebook page.


I browned 1.25 pounds of cubed pork on each side for 5 minutes in 1/8 c. olive oil, then I transferred the meat to a bowl while I cook the sliced onions covered for about 20 minutes on low heat.

I brought up the temp to medium and got them slightly carmel-colored in about 5 minutes, then I added 1/2 T. of flour and stirred it for about 4 minutes.

Then I poured in 18 ounces of organic apple juice, a couple splashes of red wine vinegar, 1/2 t. coriander powder, 1 t. salt and 1/2 t. freshly ground pepper and brought that to a boil.

I stirred in the pork, and left it covered on the super low heat for about 2 hours.

apple pie braising pork

For the baked apples, I peeled and sliced one Braeburn apple, lightly sprinkled cinnamon, 1 T. sugar, 1 t. flour and 1/2 t. of the the cardamom sugar from my Fried Kielbasa, Fenneled Pear & Arugula on Cinnamon-Cardamom Toast on top.

After stirring it, I covered the baking dish with foil, poked four holes for steam to escape and baked it at 400˚ for 30 minutes.

apple pie baked apples

I made the bread more or less following this fennel golden raisin semolina recipe, but I subbed in pecans for pine nuts.

And for the pie-crust croutons, I followed the recipe for the Pate Brisée from the Canadian Butter Tart recipe and used the smallest cookie cutters I had handy. Btw, I wasn’t kidding about pie-crust Goldfish — I may make a huge batch of it in time for NFL Sunday!

Let’s Lunch is a growing global group of friendly, fun food bloggers that meets monthly for a virtual lunch date via Twitter (#letslunch). We share posts on a different topic each time.

Here are the other Let’s Lunchers’ pie posts!

Annabelle’s Chocolate Pie at Glass of Fancy

Betty Ann’s Calamansi Pie at Asian In America

Cheryl’s Mexican Cottage Pie at A Tiger In The Kitchen

Grace’s Easy Apple Pie (with Lard Crust) at Hapa Mama

Jill’s Guava and Cream Cheese Empanadas at Eating My Words

Linda S.’s Biscoff Banana and Pear Galette at Spice Box Travels

Lisa’s Sweet Ricotta Noodle Pie at Monday Morning Cooking Club

Lucy’s Sweet Potato Custard Pie at A Cook And Her Books

Mai’s Caramel Apple Pie Sundae at Cooking In The Fruit Bowl

Margaret’s Cushaw Pie at Tea and Scones, Too

Nancie’s Tyler Pie at Nancie McDermott

Naomi’s Huckleberry Pie Ice Cream at The Gastro Gnome

Rebecca’s Hand Pies in two varieties: Mozzarella & Tomato Jam and Pear & Smoky Caramel at Grongar Blog

Sara’s Herb Pie at Three Clever Sisters

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