The lovely Elisabeth Bailey, author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round, kindly submitted this blog post. You may remember Elisabeth from our summer 2011 cooking series and our 2011 Valentine’s Day cooking class.
In some ways, this is the worst time of year for local food—it’s spring but hardly anything has sprung forth yet, and as fabulous and tasty as last year’s preserves and frozen produce are, we’re all itching for something new. That’s when creative baking comes in!
This recipe for cheddar apple pie has become an instant family favorite—so much so that we’ve gone through as many apples in the last month as we did the entire rest of the winter months combined.
This is a main dish apple pie—low on sugar and high on protein, you can eat it guilt-free for breakfast or any other time of the day. You may also use pears in this recipe or a combination of apples and pears. If you’re not terrific at rolling out and shaping pie crust – it’s certainly not my strong point! – feel free to press torn pieces together for both the bottom and top crusts. It won’t be quite as pretty but it will taste just as fabulous, I promise. Don’t let fear of a tricky technique keep you from enjoying your kitchen adventures, in this or any other recipe.
If, on the other hand, you’re very clever and crafty with dough, you can cut out shapes from the top crust with a small cookie cutter to make steam vents instead of cutting slits, or you can cut the top crust into strips and weave a lattice. Have fun with it!
Cheddar Apple Pie
• 2 1/4 cups flour (white, wheat, or a combination)
• 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
• ¾ cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
• ½ cup cold milk
• 3 pounds apples, any varietal or a mixture, peeled, cored, and chopped into bite-sized pieces
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon corn starch
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• ¼ teaspoon salt
Combine flour, cheddar, butter, and milk in a mixing bowl or food processor. Cut together until dough just holds together. Wrap ball of dough in plastic and put in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 450°F. In a mixing bowl combine chopped apples, sugar, corn starch, lemon juice, nutmeg, and salt. Stir until apples are thoroughly coated.
Remove dough from refrigerator. Divide into two parts and roll into two large rounds. Arrange one in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Transfer filling on top of bottom crust, then gently transfer larger trust to the top and seal edges to top of bottom crust. Cut several slits in the top crust to vent steam. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 375°F and bake until crust is browned and filling is bubbling-hot, about another 40 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes, then serve warm or cool.