Warm, cinnamon-infused apple pie encased in a flaky cheddar-studded apple pie. This cheddar apple pie may seem like an interesting combination, but it is completely irresistible.
When it comes to dessert, I would say that after chocolate chip cookies, pies are my absolute favorite. I am a huge fan of a buttery, flaky pie crust. Plus the addition of fruit makes me feel a little less guilty about indulging. I find it nearly impossible to turn down a freshly baked pie topped with apple pie.
When I was younger, I discovered that some people like to have apple pie with cheddar. Sweet apple pie... with cheddar cheese. I couldn't exactly wrap my head around the concept for a very long time.
But, after a lot of thought and consideration, it really isn't that hard to see how it could be good. I mean, I often have apples and cheese on the same cracker when I have a cheeseboard. That's basically an unbaked cheddar apple pie, when you think about it.
There's a balance between the creaminess and saltiness of the cheese, the butteriness of the pie crust, and the sweetness of the apples that just brings harmony to the dessert.
Some people like to put their cheese on top of the finished pie, or even put it inside the filling with the apples. I prefer to put it into the pie crust.
What Kind of Apples do You Use?
You can use either all tart apples or a mix of sweet and tart. Typically, I recommend using all tart apples to contrast to the sweetness of the overall pie. When it comes to a cheddar apple pie, I find that a mix of sweet and tart brings the balance you want when pairing your pie with cheese.
I recommend using apples such as: Granny Smith, Cortland, Empire, Braeburn, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady.
What Kind of Cheese do You Use for Apple Pie
You can't use just any cheese. You need something that is a little sharper with a nice tang and depth of flavor. Something salty, but not overbearing. Some people use parmesan, gruyere, or even swiss.
I prefer cheddar cheese and Tillamook Farmstyle Cheddar Cheese in particular. The thicker cut allows it to melt and release some stead similarly to butter while also leaving you with a more distinct flavor.
Why do People Put Cheese in Their Apple Pie?
If you're still wondering why it's a thing and where it came from, there's a few things you may find interesting.
First, as you may already know, apple pie doesn't actually originate from America, despite what the popular saying may infer.
Apple pie is believed to have begun in England and made its way to America when the English first started landed in America.
Adding cheese, again, also seems to have originated from England where it was commonplace to add a dairy-based sauce to their pie. It slowly transformed into adding a slice of cheese to their pie over time. The cheese served as a way to add more nutrients and flavor to the pie because apples at that time were not as flavorful as they are today.
The popularity of cheddar apple pies seems to be largely concentrated in areas where there are many dairy farms who helps to popularize the tradition in their areas.
Where do you stand? Are you team cheese or team ice cream? Personally, I say why not both.
Cheddar Apple Pie
For the Crust
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 14 tablespoons butter cubed
- 1 cup Tillamook Farmstyle Sharp Cheddar Shreds
- 1 large egg cold
- 2 tablespoons ice water
For the Apple Pie
- 5 -6 medium apples peeled, cored, and thinly sliced.
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- egg wash 1 egg + water
- turbinado sugar
- Start with the crust.
- Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl.
- Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it forms large crumbs.
- Gently fold in the cheese.
- Mix in the egg and the ice water and mix until just combined. The mixture should look crumbly, but stick together if pressed.
- Divide the mixture into two discs. Wrap each disc tightly, then place in the refrigerator.
- Chill for an hour as you prep your filling.
- Peel, core, and thinly slice your apples.
- Toss them with the lemon and orange juice as well as the vanilla.
- Lightly coat the apple slices with the sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
- Take out one of the pie crusts and roll out until ¼-inch thick.
- Place the dough onto a 9-inch pie pan and trim the edges as needed. I like to leave some excess and fold it under the crust to give it more stability on the sides.
- Neatly place the apple sliced in the crust.* Place in the freezer.
- Take out the second disc and roll out to ¼-inch thick. Cut the top crust as desired for your design.
- Remove the pie from the freezer and add your top pie crust, then place back in the freezer.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Once the oven is preheated, remove the pie and brush the top crust with the egg wash. Lightly sprinkle with turbinado sugar, if desired.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then top with foil. Bake for an additional 25 - 35 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the pie crust is golden brown.
- Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing and serving.