After several years of trial and error, along with pilfering through Jon's back-pocket recipe book, I have created what I consider to be the mother of all apple pies. Apple and cheddar go hand-in-hand, and this recipe is a culmination of rich flavors and delicious ingredients that are sure to impress anyone lucky enough to get a bite.
This time of year is my absolute favorite. The leaves are falling from the trees, everyone is starting to wear mittens and hats, and I get to fill my house with the smells of the holidays. I usually start making these pies around the first week of November while listening to my limited collection of Christmas music and drinking hard apple cider.
Even Jon has learned to enjoy some of the music, but I guess the food makes listening to it so early in the year worth it! If you are up for the challenge with making a lattice crust for the top of your Cheddar Apple Pie then you should give it a shot.
Worst case scenario you screw it up, then all you need to do is combine it all back into a ball and re-roll the dough. No big deal. I learned how to make my lattice crusts a few years ago from Simply Recipes (Elise is amazing and I love her blog), and from a video on YouTube. Don't stress over messing up. All you need to do is practice and you can perfect it.
As you may have noticed in my not-so-professional photo up top, I forgot to check on the pie every 15 minutes and I slightly burned the top of my crust. No big deal because it still tasted amazing, but to prevent such mistakes all you need to do is watch it. If it starts to burn, just put up a foil tent. Good luck, and enjoy!
Recipe: Cheddar Apple Pie
- 2 1/2 cup good all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 12 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 stick unsalted butter, frozen, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, frozen, cut into cubes
- 5 - 10 T ice water
- 6 large granny smith apples
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 T all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp good vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 T water
- Grate the cheddar cheese using a food processor. Add salt and flour to the cheese and pulse to combine. Add cold butter and shortening and pulse until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix it, and work quickly to keep the ingredients cold, or the crust won't come out right. Add cold water, 1 T at a time, until the mixture is combined and joins together. You will use anywhere between 5 and 10 T. water. Work dough into a ball, and divide in half, leaving one ball slightly larger than the other. Flatten the balls into 6 inch disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Dissolve butter in saucepan over medium heat and whisk in flour. Add milk, brown sugar, and white sugar until melted. Simmer on low heat. Cover, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Peel and core apples, cut apples into slices and add to a bowl. When all the apples are cut, pour sugar/butter mixture over them and stir well to coat the apples. Cover with plastic wrap and set bowl aside.
- Remove the larger disk from refrigerator and roll out the bottom piece of dough so you have enough to fill the 9-inch pie pan, leaving one inch overhang around the sides.
- For the top half of your pie you can roll out the dough into a circle and prepare it for a lattice-style top. It's easiest to roll a perfect circle by rolling the top out large enough to place a 13-inch round pan on top of the dough, and then cutting around the pan. If you don't want to get too advanced you may prepare the top half like you would any other pie by making a full crust with slits in the middle. Whichever is your preference.
- Pour apple mixture into pie pan and distribute evenly. Add top crust.
- Whisk egg in a small bowl with 1 T water and brush over top of pie crust. Place pie on a baking sheet with aluminum foil on bottom.
- Bake pie at 425 for an hour and 15 minutes. Check every 15 minutes for signs of burning. You may need to cover the top with foil tent if it starts to burn.
- Allow pie to cool for at least an hour, but I like it best the next day. Enjoy.
Number of servings (yield): 12