Since fall has now "fallen", with it beginning this past Sunday, September 22, we begin thinking about foods that are homey and comforting. The scent of cinnamon and other spices in something baking brings a sense of security that a home provides. In turn, we think of "comfort food". With fall, we think of comforting foods, including things made with apples, sweet potatoes and pumpkins.
Of all the American desserts, the apple pie hold a special place in the heart of Americans. Naturally, with the fall season here, there's actually no better time to have a good, warm slice of apple pie with sharp Cheddar cheese or vanilla ice cream than now. The recipe I'm sharing is for one that has cheese in the crust, so it's appropriately titled, "Apple Pie in Cheddar Crust". This recipe has you work grated cheese into the pastry to give the pie a special flavor that compliments the apples perfectly.
This pie is made 100% from scratch. It is a bit time consuming in preparing the pastry and the apples, then baking it, but it's well worth your time! The pastry goes together like most other pastry doughs, in that you cut shortening into the flour, which has the cheese mixed in. Water is added to form a dough. It's then rolled out and filled with a grand apple filling. The top crust goes on and it's glazed with an egg yolk glaze to help it brown beautifully. When it's ready, have some additional Cheddar cheese or vanilla ice cream ready and waiting!
For the apples, make certain to choose an apple that holds up well under heat. The Granny Smith is a classic apple that lends itself well to baking. Other good varieties for baking include the Fuji, Cortland, MacIntosh and Winesap. Not just any apple will bake well. Some varieties are best used for eating raw or in a fruit salad.
Celebrate fall with an American classic, homemade apple pie!
APPLE PIE WITH CHEDDAR CRUST
Cheddar Cheese Pastry:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 6 tablespoons cold water
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, cheese and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter or two knives until mixture form coarse crumbs. Add the cold water by the tablespoon, mixing until mixture is moistened and dough can be formed into a ball. Reserve the egg yolk and water.
Divide dough almost in half. Roll out the larger half to about a 13 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Line a 9 inch pie plate with pastry. Trim edge to about 1/2 inch beyond the rim of the pie plate.
- 9 cups sliced, pared tart cooking apples
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
Combine all ingredients except for the butter in a very large bowl and mix well. Arrange in pastry-lined pie plate and dot with the butter. Roll out remaining dough to about an 11 inch circle. Place crust over apples and trim the edge of the dough to 1 inch beyond the rim of the pie plate. Fold the top crust under the lower crust to form a ridge. Flute the edges. Cut slits in the crust to allow steam to escape. Combine reserved egg yolk and water and brush over the top of the crust.
Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold with slices of Cheddar cheese or scoops of vanilla ice cream. Yield: 1 9 inch pie.