The Flavors of Fall~Apple and Cheddar Breakfast-Sausage Burger


12 ounces fresh pork breakfast sausage, casings removed
1 medium tart apple, such as Granny Smith or Gravenstein
Vegetable oil, for coating the grill
1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more for serving
4 English muffins, split
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced


Divide the sausage into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into an even 1/4-inch-thick patty that’s about 1/2 inch wider in diameter than the English muffins. Using your thumb, make a shallow 1-inch-wide indentation in the center of each patty, place them on a plate, and set aside.

Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high (about 375°F to 425°F). Meanwhile, slice the apple into (1/2-inch-thick) rounds. Set aside the 4 widest slices, removing any seeds as necessary. Save any extra apple slices for another use.

When the grill is ready, use tongs to rub the grate with several layers of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil. Using a flat spatula, transfer the 4 apple slices and the sausage patties (indentation-side up) onto the grill and cover the grill. Cook undisturbed (do not press down on the patties) until grill marks appear on the bottom of the patties and apples, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Flip the patties and apples and brush them with the measured maple syrup, using all of it. Cover the grill and cook until the patties are cooked through and the apples have softened slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove to a clean plate and tent loosely with foil.

Place the muffins cut-side down on the grill and toast until grill marks appear on the bottoms, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the muffins and evenly distribute the cheese among all of the muffin halves. Cover the grill and continue to cook until the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes more. Remove to a work surface.

To assemble, place 1 sausage patty and 1 apple slice on 4 of the muffin halves; top with the remaining 4 halves. Serve immediately, passing additional maple syrup on the side.

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