Apple Pie Recipe

This Apple Pie Recipe combines the richness of cheddar cheese in the crust and the tart, crisp flavor of apples in the filling.

| September 2012

Whether you want to try your hand at Apple Pie or Chicken Fat and Pea Pie, How to Build a Better Pie (Quarry Books, 2012) by Millicent Souris provides the tips for flaky crusts, toppers and all things in between. Learn the skills, practice the techniques, master the recipes and build yourself a better pie. This sweet and savory Apple Pie Recipe is from Chapter 4, “Fruit Pies.” 

Apple pie hits the kitchen when there are no other fruits in sight. There are so many kinds of apples it can boggle the mind, and sheer abundance of varieties of apples and their affordable price will keep you busy through the dark autumn months and bleak winter.

Tart and crisp apples stand up to a lot of flavor in an apple pie filling. Macoun, Braeburn, Crispin, Mutsu, Jonagold, Northern Spy, Ginger Gold, Fuji ... there are so many kinds that cycle through the long season. Try buying apples on a whim according to name; Cripps Pink, aka Pink Ladies, anyone? A small apple called Newtown Pippin is the apple that allegedly inspired Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery of the theory of gravity. How often does a trip to the apple stand invoke a historical science fact? Not nearly enough.

Apples have a lot of naturally acting pectin, which reduces the amount of liquid in the filling, so this is the time to use the solid top crust, albeit with steam slits. Use a pie bird. When there is a pie bird in the crust, its little ceramic beak sticks out the top, piping steam out.

Apple pie is a bridge between Cheddar cheese and vanilla ice cream. How could all of these things go together in such a delicious manner? It’s such a tremendous range of flavor that really opens the mind to accept something sweet and something savory together in one bite. The richness of the cheese works with the creaminess of the ice cream, the crispness of the apple pie crust, and the give of the tart apples. It all works together; it’s harmonious.

I like to add Cheddar cheese directly to the pie crust. The incorporation of the cheese to the baked pie crust enriches the flavor and sharpness of the cheese and the depth of the apples. The smell when it comes out of the oven is overwhelming, in a good way. Like a pile of dry leaves on fire; it’s a scent you can’t get enough of.

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