Food

Apple Cheddar Pie: Why top your slice with cheese when you can bake it into the crust!

Marcella DiLonardo’s recipe turns the cult classic combo into an entertaining-worthy dessert.

Marcella DiLonardo’s recipe turns the cult classic combo into an entertaining-worthy dessert

(Photography by Marcella DiLonardo)

How do you like your apple pie? Do you take it with a dollop of sweet, melty vanilla ice cream on the side, or is a slice of sharp cheddar on top more your speed? While the latter option may seem strange to some, it’s actually been a staple in some parts of North America for hundreds of years. This take on the classic pie from Canadian author and recipe developer Marcella DiLonardo’s new cookbook Bake the Seasons takes the beloved combo to a whole new level by baking the cheese right in. Sweet, savoury and so much more beautiful than a slice with a hunk of cheddar on top, it’s an ideal dessert for anyone who wants it all in just one piece.

Apple Cheddar Pie

By Marcella DiLonardo

A classic apple pie was the first pie I ever mastered. Once I perfected the basic recipe, I decided it was time to experiment with different flavour combinations. One day I was feeling adventurous, so I incorporated cheddar. It might sound strange, but give it a try! The cheddar offers just a hint of sharpness to offset the sweetness of the apples. Once you’ve tried this combination, you’ll find yourself reaching for cheddar every time you make an apple pie.

Ingredients

Cheddar Pie Dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • ⅓ cup shortening, cold
  • 1 ½ cups finely grated aged cheddar cheese, divided
  • ½ cup ice water
  • 1 egg, whisked, for egg wash

Apple Pie Filling:

  • 6 cups peeled, cored and thinly sliced apples
  • ¾ cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Preparation

To make the Cheddar Pie Dough, in a large mixing bowl sift together the flour and salt. Add the butter and shortening. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work in the butter and shortening until the mixture forms pea-sized crumbs. Stir in 1 cup of the cheddar. Incorporate the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough begins to come together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide it into two equal portions, and shape each into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until ready to use. (The dough can be made a day or two in advance.)

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

To make the Apple Pie Filling, in a large mixing bowl combine the apples, sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, vanilla and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Set aside while you roll out the pie dough.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of dough until ⅛ inch (3 mm) thick. Gently lift and transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate, pressing the dough into the bottom and sides of the plate. Trim the dough edges, leaving a ½-inch (1 cm) overhang. Fold under the overhang, then crimp the edges. To crimp the edges, place an index finger on the lip of the pie plate and pinch around that finger with the index finger and thumb of your other hand, holding the dough in between. Scrape the Apple Pie Filling into the pie shell and arrange the apple slices so they lie flat.

Roll out the remaining dough until ⅛ inch (3 mm) thick. Using a small leaf-shaped pastry cutter, cut the dough into approximately 75 leaves. Line the outside edge of the crust with slightly overlapping leaves. Continue layering the leaves, working your way to the centre, making sure to not leave any gaps but leaving a small hole in the very centre for steam to escape. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and top with the remaining ½ cup cheddar.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Let cool completely before serving.


Excerpted from Bake the Seasons: Sweet and Savoury Dishes to Enjoy Throughout the Year by Marcella DiLonardo. Copyright © 2019 Marcella DiLonardo. Photography by Marcella DiLonardo. Published by Penguin Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Servings: Makes 6-8 servings

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