tart apple pie with a hint of cheddar crust

I have circles under my eyes and my hair smells like burger... and that's just the start of it.

John congratulated me on going to the store “all by myself” the other night. I went out to buy chocolate chips, brownie mix, marshmallows and cheese.

The necessities.  

Me going out on my own was a big step towards normalcy. Lately I’ve been sending happy little text messages asking John if he can pick up something on the way home from work (like burgers for dinner) because I don’t want to go out. I’ve definitely been housebound with this new little babe of mine. It doesn’t help that I’m living in a brand new area, with like, no friends and nothing’s familiar. I’m also really paranoid about baby Myles getting sick because he’s still so new... ANNNND it’s also cold outside, and I am, for the record, a wimp when it comes to any type of “weather”. I’m used to summertime all the time… when I saw ice on our lawn yesterday morning I was: 😑  

My pup Sundae, on the other hand, has been adjusting to this new life of huge changes like a champ. She loves baby Myles and tries to smother him with kisses every time he’s at her level. She sits by him protectively when he’s in his little swing and sometimes beats me to him when he suddenly starts crying and I’m quickly peeing in the bathroom and can’t quite get to him. When I rush out of the bathroom to tend to him, there’s Sundae, sitting loyally by his side. It kills me.  

When John comes home with food and we’re all sitting on the couch watching something on Netflix (like The Crown, I'm obsessed) and I see my little babe in my arms and a snoring pup by the fireplace and my BFF to my right I feel like life is really good...

Even though there are dark circles under my eyes, and my hair smells like burger.

I know that someday I'll be normal again, because you know, I’ve got my squad.  

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your squad too and I hope, for the sake of your people and your mouth you make this incredible pie… you guys there’s cheese in the crust. Maple Hill Creamery, 100% grass-fed CHEESE. It’s pretty amaze. More below.

Love you friends.

tart apple pie with a hint of cheddar crust 

adapted from Blackbirds Pie and Sam Sifton 

My mom is not a crust person, but she loved this crust so much she congratulated me on how delicious it was. If that’s not high praise I don’t know what is. The Maple Hill Creamery cheese is what makes this crust amazing. It’s just enough to make people pause and say WHY is this crust so good? And you can tell them, it’s the cheese. See where to buy the best-grass-fed-cheddar-ever, using their store locator, here.

for the crust:

2 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

½ pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

1/4 cup Maple Hill Creamery one year cheddar cheese, shredded 

1 cup cold water

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup ice

Sift the flour, salt, and sugar together in a food processor. Add the butter pieces and shredded cheese and pulse briefly, until you achieve pea-sized pieces of butter. Careful not to over mix.

Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of this ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and pulse until it is fully incorporated. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough comes together in a ball. Take the dough out of the processor at this point and work the dough with your hands, adding small drops of the ice water mixture as you see fit, until it’s all combined. Work the dough until just combined. You should see faint marble ribbons of butter in your dough.  

Then divide the dough into two flat discs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let them sit for at least one hour, but preferably over night, in the refrigerator. 

tip! If wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.

for the filling: (I made this one day ahead of time)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 ½ pounds apples, peeled and cored, then cut into wedges (3 large granny smiths and 2 large honeycrisps)

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons tapioca starch or cornstarch 

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 egg, lightly beaten

turbinado sugar for sprinkling, optional

Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add your apples to the pan. Stir to coat the apples with butter and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. While the apples cook, whisk together the cinnamon, salt and ¾ cup sugar and then sprinkle this mixture over the apples, stirring to combine.

Lower your heat and continue to cook the apples until they start to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. (Your house should smell amazing at this point.) Sprinkle the flour and tapioca (or corn) starch over the apples and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove pan from heat, add cider vinegar, stir and scrape apple mixture into a bowl and allow to cool completely. I made my filling one day ahead of time, stored it in the refrigerator and then brought it to room temperature the next day before placing it in the pie shell. 

To bake: 

Place a large baking sheet on the middle rack of oven and preheat to 425° F / 220° C. Take one disc of dough from the refrigerator and roll it out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 12 inches / 30cm in diameter. Fit this crust into a 9-inch pie dish, pressing down so there are no air bubbles. Crimp and form the edges of your pie with the overhanging dough and pop pie shell in the freezer for about 5-10 mins. Take the pie out of the freezer and fill with your cooled filling. Set aside.

Roll out the remaining dough (this is the top of the pie) on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 10 or 11 inches / 25 or 28cm in diameter. Cut this dough however you’d like (I chose to make a lattice) laying your design over the pie filling and pressing the edges of the top of your pie crust with the bottom of the pie crust with your fingers. Make sure your pie crust top has a way for steam to escape - so if it’s a solid top, cut a few slits in the top. 

Lightly brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Place pie in the oven, on the hot baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 375° F / 190° C. Cover pie with a loose tent of tin foil to prevent over-browning and continue to cook until the interior of the pie is bubbling and the crust is golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes more.

Allow the pie to cool for about 2 hours before cutting and serving. (If you can wait that long.)  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and a generous wedge of cheddar cheese.  

grass-fed dairy: has an uncannily higher amount of Omega-3 fatty acids opposed to cows that are fed corn + grains. Cows are not made to eat corn or grain, they're made to eat grass, which means you're actually getting the health benefits you need (and nature intended!) when you choose grass-fed dairy.  I talk a lot more about the awesome benefits of eating whole dairy, and avoiding "low fat or non fat dairy" here. 

This post was sponsored by Maple Hill Creamery, but all opinions are my own. Thank you friends, for supporting the sponsors that support Sweetish.co. xox