2/5/15

Cheddar-Crust Apple Pie: On the Road


As Sal Paradise clacked his way across the continental US, Kerouac inscribed some pretty cool passages about the food. Which I think is pretty awesome considering On the Road was a manuscript for the entire counterculture generation. Say what you will about beatniks; they definitely appreciated home-cooked meals. Nothing stuck with me quite like Kerouac's description of the apple pie.
"I ate apple pie and ice cream. It got better the deeper I got into Iowa- the pie deeper, the ice cream richer."
And so I thought, what could be more American than cheddar cheese and apple pie? So I put them together, and the result was this pie.
You'd think cheddar would be weird, but it isn't. It so isn't.



Ingredients

Cheddar Crust

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks butter, cold and diced
1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg, separated
1 teaspoon cream (optional)

Apple Filling

4-5 gala or granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour

Preparation

Make the crust:

1. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. 
2. Add the butter and grated cheese, and cut the butter into the flour until it is finely combined. You can use a pastry cutter, knife, your hands, or the trusty food processor. 
3.Slowly add the water, mixing after every tablespoon. Gently combine the until the dough just comes together. Be careful not to add too much water! Dump onto a lightly floured service, knead once or twice, and divide in half. Wrap in cling-film and set in the fridge. 
4. For best results, they should keep in the fridge for 1 hour- over night.

Make the filling:

5. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Take the dough out of the fridge to thaw slightly.
6. Slice the apple evenly, then toss with lemon juice. Mix in the cinnamon, sugar, and brown sugar until evenly combined.
7.  Roll out the pie dough on parchment paper, to about 1/8 inch thick and 10 inches in diameter. Place straight into a pie tin, with about 1 inch hanging over the edge.
8. Brush the inside of the dough with the egg white. (This will keep the crust crispy on the bottom.)
Load in the filling.
9. Roll out the last of the dough, and place on top. Crimp the sides as you wish, then slice slits in the top for steam ventilation. Mix the cream with egg yolk and brush the top and sides lightly. 
10. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 F, then lower the temperature to 350 F and bake for another 60-70 minutes, until golden brown.
11. Let cool almost completely before serving.
Enjoy!


Happy baking!

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