“I want a sandwich!”
Was my brother’s first reaction in response to what I was going to be serving for Sunday brunch.
In his defense, I admit that it did sound a little weird!
Sausage and apple pudding isn’t exactly what I would call standard fare around my house. As a matter of fact, the term pudding is rarely if ever heard here. And if it is, I am usually the one saying it.
However, this was definitely a case of “The proof was in the pudding.”
Ok I will wait for the hissing to die down…sorry I just couldn’t resist!
As a foodie and food blogger, I enjoy trying new recipes. But part of that process is finding new recipes that inspire me!
Paula Deen is not my usual source of inspiration. To be perfectly honest, watching her show is like watching a train wreck. I can tell she is a wonderful cook.
But in true Southern tradition she cooks with more grease than my California sensibilities can handle.
But much like rubber-neckers at the scene of an accident, I can’t help watching in fascination as she pulls out pounds of butter, lard and oil. I stare in mild slack jawed horror as she manages to find a way to deep-fry everything.
And then there is the pork. I have nothing against pork. I like pork. I will often order pork when I go out to eat. But because my dad is Jewish, I do not cook pork in the house. Rarely, I manage to cook some bacon in the toaster oven or sneak in some pork cold cuts. But for the most part my home is pork free.
Because of this, I was stunned that one of Paula’s recipes caught my attention.
It was simple, straight forward and could be modified for my dad’s kosher diet. And most of all the concept was immediately intriguing.
Sausage, apples, and cornbread. What could be simpler than that?
The process is made even simpler with a prepackaged corn bread mix. Vegan in my case, straight from Mother’s Kitchen (a local chain of Health Food stores), and doctored up with a little bit of coconut milk, frozen corn kernels, and maple syrup.
The last addition primarily due to Paula’s suggestion that the pudding be served with a topping of butter and maple syrup, something I knew my family would never go for. So instead, I added it directly to the batter which gave a lovely sweetness to the bread without being overwhelming.
I also substituted smoked chicken and turkey sausage for the pork sausages Paula suggested. I used mango but I think that next time I might use chicken an apple to compliment the existing flavors.
And despite initial protest the casserole was a great success. My brother, who had protested the loudest, was the first to ask for second helpings! The combination of flavors and textures was wonderful. Sour apples with meaty, smoky sausages all smothered in chewy, corn spiked corn bread.
A definite no fuss keeper. This would make a great Christmas morning breakfast. With a boxed mix it takes 10 minutes to put together and shove into the oven and can bake while everyone is off sleeping or opening presents.
Not So Piggy Pudding
10 thin or 8 thick chicken/turkey sausages, sliced into ½ inch pieces
1 box corn bread mix 
¼ cup maple syrup 
1 cup corn kernels
5 medium cooking apples, peeled and thinly sliced 
½ cup light coconut milk (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 450 F.
Brown the sausages in a medium skillet, drain if necessary.
In the mean time, prepare the corn bread according to package direction, substituting maple syrup for an equivalent portion of liquid. For an eve better flavor, substitute another ½ cup of the liquid with light coconut milk. Add the corn kernels and stir to combine.
Place the cooked sausage at the bottom of a lightly oiled 9x13 casserole dish. Cover with the apples. This will look like a lot of apples but will cook down significantly. Pour the corn bread over the top, giving a gentle shake so that it penetrates between the apples.
Bake for 30-45 minutes or until corn bread is cooked through. If necessary, cover with foil half way through the cooking process to prevent the top from over browning.
Serve with fresh fruit.
 I chose a vegan corn bread but any good quality corn bread will work. Or you can make your own favorite recipe
 I prefer grade B syrup as I think it has the best flavor. However a grade A dark amber would be equally good. I do not recommend using the light amber as it does not have a strong enough flavor for this dish.
 I used a combination of sweet-tart Fuji and tart Pippin to get a nice contrast, but any apple firm sweet-tart or tart apple with work. Make sure to use an apple that stands up to cooking other wise it will disintegrate into wet mush and make the cornbread soggy.