apple & cheddar… a classic combo

Oh Martha. This is my first attempt at a Martha Stewart recipe. And I’d like to tell you all; I would change some things about it (gasp! a Martha recipe that isn’t perfect). I was drawn to this recipe because it combined apples and cheddar cheese. What’s better than a slice of warm apple pie accompanied by a thick slice of extra-old cheddar cheese? How about baking the cheese right into the crust?

Well, I followed the recipe exactly (I promise, this was one recipe I didn’t mess around with since I was making it for Audrey’s Thanksgiving dinner)… but have decided that I would tweak it (just slightly). Less cinnamon and apples: extra cheddar – I think that would make for a perfectly divine slice of pie.

Martha’s Cheddar Crust:
2 1/2 c. pastry flour
1 tsp b. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
14 tbsp COLD butter, grated
4 ounces extra old white cheddar cheese, grated (I am going to increase this to 7 ounces next time)
1/2 c. ICE water

You’ll want to combine the flour, sugar, and salt (either in your food processor or stand-mixer with your flat beater paddle). Pulse about 15 seconds. Add the grated butter and pulse for about 45 seconds – pea-sized lumps should form. Pulse in the cheese (another 30 seconds). Keep the mixer running, add the ice water, a tbsp at a time, until the dough comes together (about 30 seconds).

Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and allow it to chill in your fridge between 1 hour and 3 days (or freeze for later use). Best part about this dough… it smells like cheddar. Nothing beats extra-old cheddar eh?

Now to start on the apple filling.

Again, I would change a bit about this recipe… I’ll mark my changes next to Martha’s original recipe – in brackets – you decide which one you’d like to use :0)

Apple Pie Filling
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch-thick wedges (I would use 2 apples)
5 Cortland apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch-thick wedges (I would use 3 apples)
1 c. brown sugar (3/4 c.)
1/2 c. all-purpose flour (1/3 c.)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon (1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves (I used allspice instead)
2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

In a large bowl, stir together the apples, sugar, lemon juice and spices.

Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it in half. Dust your surface with a sprinkle of flour and roll out your two pieces. Fit one of the pieces into your pie plate. Fill it with your apple filling – you want to pile this up so that you get a nice mound of apples (this is a deep dish pie after all!). Dot the filling with the butter.

Cover the filled pie with your second piece of dough – folding the edges over so that it is nicely sealed. Cut steam vents into the top crust. Allow it to chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Take your beaten egg and bush it onto your pie crust. I sprinkled some large crystalized brown sugar on top of the pie.

Bake the pie for 10 minutes @ 450 F.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and continue to bake for 45 minutes – to golden brown (my oven only needed 35 minutes). Tent the pie with foil and continue to bake for another 45 minutes – this time the juices will be bubbling (again, only 35 minutes in my oven).

Let it cool (according to Martha at least 90 minutes before serving)… and enjoy the smell that will fill your kitchen.

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