adapted from a recipe by The Little Pie Company
Makes 8 servings
I’ve always loved the combination of apple and Cheddar cheese. And, apparently, the Little Pie Company of New York City understands I’m not the only one. Instead of merely slapping on a slice of Cheddar, they grate it and add it to the crust. This way the Cheddar bits bake and bubble to a golden brown, lending a distinct, robust flavor to the pie. I like to use the sharpest cheese I can find, or as a good friend and fellow cheese lover describes, “the kind that bites you back.”
For the cheddar dough
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, frozen solid, then slightly thawed
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening, frozen solid, then slightly thawed
1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons white vinegar mixed with 1/3 cup ice water
For the apple filling
6 to 7 large Golden Delicious apples (3 pounds)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water, for glaze
Make the dough
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the flours and salt. Cut the butter and lard into small pieces, add to the bowl and process 5 seconds. Add the cheese and pulse on and off 2 times to mix.
2. With the motor running, pour in enough of the vinegar mixture in a slow, steady stream for the dough to form a ball; process for 10 to 15 seconds.
3. Turn out the dough onto work surface. If it appears too dry, work in 1 to 2 more teaspoons water. Shape the dough into a 6-inch disk, wrap it in plastic, and chill at least 2 hours (or overnight) before using.
Make the filling
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
2. Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/16-inch slices. Immediately toss them with the lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.
3. Whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt; add this mixture to the apple slices and toss gently to coat evenly.
Assemble the pie
1. Divide the dough into 2 unequal pieces, making the piece for the top crust slightly larger. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the smaller piece into an 11-inch round.
2. Line an 8- or 9-inch pie plate with the bottom crust and fill with the apple slices. Using your hands, shape them into a firmly packed mound slightly higher in the center than at sides; dot with butter. Trim the edges of the bottom crust to a 1 1/2-inch overhang.
3. Roll out the remaining dough into a 13-inch round, and arrange over filling. Trim the edges of the top crust to a 1 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust, press together, and flute decoratively using your thumb and forefinger. Cut three 1 3/4-inch slashes in center of top crust to allow air to escape.
4. Bake the pie for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375°F (190°C) and continue baking 30 to 40 minutes longer, or until the pastry is golden brown and the juices are bubbling.
5. Ten minutes before the end of baking, brush the top crust with the egg glaze and sprinkle with sugar.
6. Cool the pie on a wire rack before serving slightly warm or at room temperature.
Recipe © 2000 The Little Pie Company. All rights reserved.