November 22, 2012
I love love love love this pie! It combines the fantastic cookie like texture of shortbread with tangy/sharp cheddar cheese, wrapping sweet/tart apples in a semi savory crust.
I usually make this a lot in the spring but I find myself making it more as it gets cooler and cooler outside (Im very excited about all the autumn and holiday baking on the horizon :-).
The below recipe is for one apple cheddar pie baked in a 12″ cast iron skillet. Although I am seriously considering buying a couple of these real deal cast iron pie pans from amazon… maybe for christmas.
Old Mountain Pre Seasoned 10161 Cast Iron Pie Pan, 12 Inch x 9 3/4 Inch x 2 Inch
Preheat Oven to 350F
1.5 cups grated cheddar cheese (how sharp is up to you, I usually go with medium and get good results)
7-8 Medium Apples, cored and finely sliced (you should be able to get at least 12 even slices from each apple)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 stick soft butter
Prepare shortbread crust according to directions. Once Crust is fully combined knead in grated cheddar cheese. Press crust into pie form. Make certain to press and even layer and leave a slightly thicker rim for easy joining of the top layer to the bottom.
Make sure you leave at least 1.5 cups of the crust mixture for the top layer!
At this point place the pie pan into the oven for 5 minutes to ‘set’ the bottom crust. The crust will ‘slouch’ in your pan. This is normal.
Place the sliced apples in a bowl and set aside.
Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter in a small bowl.
NOTE: At this point, make sure you have removed the pan from your oven. Give it a few minutes to cool down so you don’t burn yourself on the cast iron.
Sprinkle the brown sugar and spice mixture onto apples. Using your hands, thoroughly mix the apples with the sugar and spice mix.
Begin to place the apples into the pie pan. I like to start with apples slices on the outside edge, lightly pressing them into the soft warm crust (this helped to correct the ‘slouching’ that occurs during the crust ‘setting’) and work my way to the interior of the pie, slightly overlapping the apples as I place them. Once one layer is done repeat for the next layer. This process take a little more time, but the result is better slice quality (stacked apples stay together easier) and more consistent support for the softer crust.
The apples should create a slight ‘mount’ to the pie. This is fine.
Once all of your apples are set take the remaining pie crust and form it into several ‘disks’ of dough with your hands, flattening each until they appear to be large enough to cover the surface of the pie mount. Cover the pie with the disks and lightly press each together to form a seal over the entire pie. (I have never been successful rolling this dough. However, if you find a suitable technique please share!).
Sprinkle the top and the edges of the pie with any remaining shredded cheddar. Place in oven for 45 minutes. Cool and serve!
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