Creative Saturday: The Best Forking Apple Pie Ever
With bonus recipe for apple cider vinegar!
Just in time for Thanksgiving, I thought I would share my favorite pie recipe: Apple Cheddar Pie. If you haven’t had this, it’s time to give it a try. What sets this pie apart is the fact that the cheddar is baked in between the apples and topped with streusel. There are other variations where you melt a piece of cheese on top of a pie but to be honest, those aren’t as good, because when the cheddar bakes with the apples, the flavor changes to something quite different. I usually don’t even like apple pie because it’s so damn plain, but this recipe is a game changer.
Since scrolling through tips and pictures just to get to a recipe is something I find very annoying, I’m just going to start with the basic recipe here. All the pictures are below, along with a few bonus recipes (like homemade apple cider vinegar) for using the scraps. (This recipe is a modified version of another recipe found here.)
Apple Cheddar Pie with Streusel Topping
You can either make your own pie crust (best option) or do what I do and use a frozen pie crust in a pan (quickest option). I find that frozen crusts are flakier than the pre-made refrigerated ones so that’s why I use them. But if I have more time, I always make my own. I also use pre-shredded cheese, because the cheese is coated in a starch that prevents it from sticking together (which goes together nicely in the pie). You can shred your own too if you like. (Save your apple peels and cores if you want to also make some vinegar! See below)
- 8 cups of peeled, sliced granny smith apples (around 6-8 whole apples)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) flour
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup (66 – 100 grams) brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (see note)
- 1 unbaked pie shell (see note)
- 1/3 cup butter (in small cubes or grated)
- 2/3 cup (80 grams) flour
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
Pre-heat oven to 425 F. Combine apples with lemon juice in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup flour, 1/3 – 1/2 cup brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to apples and stir to combine. Add shredded cheddar to apples and mix. Pour all ingredients into pie shell.
To make streusel topping, mix together butter, 2/3 cup flour, and 1/2 cup brown sugar (you can use your hands or a pastry cutter to combine), until you have a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle on top of your pie (make sure to cover any visible cheese so it won’t burn). Bake for 30-35 minutes (pie is bubbly and the top is browned).
Pictures, Tips, Bonus Recipes:
Peel your apples and then core and slice them. You can use an apple corer if you like, but I prefer to cut the core out like a square (slice off one side of the apple and then slice 3 more times around the core), as seen below. This way is a little quicker for me and I don’t have to worry about lining up the apple corer.
Save all of your apple scraps for later!
Whisk together 1/4 cup flour, 1/3 – 1/2 cup brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. I like to use whole nutmegs and grate them using my microplane (freshly grated nutmeg tastes better to me and it’s a little fluffier so I increase the total to ~1/2 tsp if I do it this way).
Add flour mixture to your apples and stir to combine. Add shredded cheddar to apple/flour mixture. Dump into unbaked pie shell (see note in recipe above).
Make streusel topping by combining remaining flour and brown sugar (bottom of recipe), then add cold cubed butter and cut in until mixture is crumbly. (You can use a food processor or a pastry cutter, but I choose to use my hands because less things to clean!) Sprinkle on top of pie (it will be a large mountain of apples and sugar at this point), and especially make sure to cover any exposed cheese so it doesn’t burn.
Put on a pan to catch any drips and bake at 425 for 30 – 35 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.
Cool your pie on a wire rack for an hour then enjoy the most amazing pie in the world and bask in the compliments of your family.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Take all of your apple scraps (cut up the cores too) and put into a (sterilized) 2 quart jar. Add 4 cups of water (boiled then cooled) to jar with 4 Tablespoons of sugar. (All of these extra cleaning steps are essential to prevent bacterial growth.) To keep fruit submerged, add a bag of water on top. Keep in a warm, dark cabinet for 3-4 weeks, then strain fruit out. This website has a lot of great tips for how to make vinegar.
Lemon Zest and Lemon Drain Cleaner:
Before you juice your lemon, take a minute and use a microplane to grate off the zest, then freeze this portion in a little baggie. That way, when you have another recipe that calls for lemon zest, you can just pull it out of the freezer! I also like to grind the rest of the lemon in my garbage disposal to clean it and give my kitchen a nice scent.
Leftover Apple Slices
I originally used 8 apples, so I had over 8 cups worth of slices. With the remaining slices, I added a little bit of lemon juice and kept in the fridge. Then later, for the rest of the week, I made grilled cheddar cheese sandwiches with apples slices in the middle. SO GOOD.
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