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Apples create an all-American favorite

Celebrate the upcoming fall season with this American favorite, "American Glory Apple Pie"
Celebrate the upcoming fall season with this American favorite, "American Glory Apple Pie"photo:// http:commons.wikimedia.org

With September now here, we start thinking of fall.....pumpkins, sweet potatoes, changing colors of the leaves and cooler temperatures. We also think of another fruit, the apple. Apples are always plentiful throughout the year though we really see their abundance in the fall. They're a fruit with many uses!

Let's create an old American favorite....apple pie! The recipe I'm sharing is for "American Glory Apple Pie" and this has a cheese pastry crust. Apples and cheese certainly go together and this makes for a wonderful dessert to celebrate the coming of fall!

You begin, naturally, with the pastry crust. You combine flour and salt, to which you cut in vegetable shortening and grated cheese. You then add cold water to form the dough. Half of it is rolled out and fitted into a pie plate. You now make a luscious apple filling. This filling has a surprising ingredient: graham cracker crumbs! These are sprinkled in the bottom of the pie shell before the apple filling is added. The apple filling is apples, along with lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. This filling is alternately layered with more grated cheese. Some butter is dotted over the top, followed by the pastry top. This is all baked at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then you cool the oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 40 more minutes or until the pastry is browned.

Excellent while warm, it's great with ice cream, whipped cream, or some additional grated cheese. If you're fortunate enough to have leftovers, cover and refrigerate what you have left. Portions may be reheated in the microwave on high power for about 45 seconds or until hot.

When choosing an apple to bake with, not just any apple will bake well. The best apples I find for baking are the Granny Smith, which is a green apple with a tart flavor. I made the mistake once of using Red Delicious apples in a pie once and it produced too much juice and wasn't very flavorful, either. The Red Delicious is great for eating out of hand or in salads, but not for baking. The Granny Smith works very well, producing a flavorful, well-bodied pie.

Sometime ago, I shared another apple pie recipe that had a French twist to it, "French Apple Pie". If you missed this recipe, this link will take you to it:

www.examiner.com/article/apple-pie-the-french-way

Celebrate the coming of the fall season with this pie that has cheese baked right into it!

AMERICAN GLORY APPLE PIE

Pastry Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 5 tablespoons cold water

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the shortening and cheese. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut the shortening and cheese into the flour to create a coarse mixture. Sprinkle water gradually over the flour mixture, blending with a fork as you mix (different brands of flour may require more or less water.) Continue to mix until you have a dough. Roll out half of the dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate and set remaining dough aside.

Filling:

  • 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 6 cups peeled, sliced apples
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Sprinkle graham crackers evenly over the bottom of the pastry shell. Mix the apples with lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Spoon 1/3 of the apple mixture over the graham cracker crumbs. Top with half of the grated cheese. Beginning with apples, continue layering, ending with apples, slightly heaping the last layer of apples in the center. Dot with the butter. Roll out remaining pastry and place over the top, sealing the edges of the pie. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for about 40 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: about 6 servings.