Don’t you think this time of year just screams PIE?! The sweet variety I mean, of course. It’s a warming, comforting dessert – perfect for these Wintumn ™ nights.
I am going to coin 2013 as the year I conquered my pastry fear, I have been making it a lot more, puff, rough puff, choux and good old shortcrust. The latest I made was a version of shortcrust, with added cheddar cheese. Perfect in my pie.
I saw a recipe for apple pie with a cheddar cheese crust a while back and I have been meaning to make it for yonks now. It intrigued me, I know apples and cheese go well together, but in a pie? I like to try the unusual as you know. So this weekend was a perfect opportunity. I tweaked it a little - omitting some butter (i.e forgetting to add it on top) and didn’t use a lemon (forgot to buy one) - (this turning 40 shenanigans does make one forgetful I find!) but, the result was delicious.
If you are wondering what the cheese adds, it brings a creaminess to the pastry. I found it quite rich, but tasty nonetheless.
Yield: a 9" pie
250 grams plain flour
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
225 grams unsalted butter, cubed
100 grams strong cheddar, grated (I used Orkney)
4 tablespoons ice cold water
500 grams apples, peeled and sliced thinly
75 grams granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 beaten egg for brushing
Adapted from Food Network
In a processor, blend together the flour, sugar, salt, butter and cheese until it look like breadcrumbs. Add the water down the feeder tube and process just until a ball of dough forms. Add it dribble of water if it is too dry. Turn it out onto a work surface and knead briefly. Split the dough into two, 60:40 ratio. Wrap each piece in clingfilm and flatten into a disc and chill for at least 30 minutes. I chilled mines for about 24 hours, which was just as fine.
When chilled, roll out the larger disc so it is wider than your pie dish. I used a 9” dish, so the dough was about 10-11” in diameter. Place into the pie dish and press down the sides, turning over the excess. Brush this with a bit of water.
In a bowl, mix together the cornflour, sugar and cinnamon and add the apples. Get your hands stuck in and make sure all of the apples are coated with the sugar mix.
Place these into the pie dish.
Roll the second dough disc out so it is just a bit wider than the 9” dish. Place this on top of the apples and press the edges down on the lower layer of dough. With a knife, trim of excess dough and crimp the dough on the sides, either with a fork or with your fingers and thumb as I did. Slice a few holes in the top to let the steam escape. I added little hearts made out of excess dough.
Brush the top with a the beaten egg and place the pie in the oven (pre-heated to 200C) for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes knock the heat back to 190C and if the top looks like it is browning too much, add a little tinfoil disc to the top of the pie to prevent it burning. Bake for a further 30 minutes. After this time, remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
During baking you get a smellicious waft of baked cheese, apples and cinnamon. The pie is best served warm, with a dollop of cream, if you so wish. Enjoy!!