Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust

A treat to keep us going through this winter weather. Adding cheddar cheese to this classic pie crust is a tiny twist that makes a big difference. I prefer to keep the apple filling on the less sweet side so if you like it sweeter, add a bit more sugar.

By Molly Neuman

apple pie

Serves 8.
Estimated total cost: $5.50

Ingredients for the crust
* 2 ½ cups (1½ ounces) all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
* 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
* 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch pieces and frozen for 15 minutes
* 6 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed

Ingredients for the filling
* 2 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
* 2 pounds sweet apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
* 4 tablespoons (2 2/3 ounces) granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
* ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
* ¼ teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the crust: In a food processor, blend flour, sugar, salt, mustard, and cayenne until combined, about five seconds. Add cheddar and butter and pulse until butter chunks are the size of large peas, about 10 pulses. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time and mix until everything is incorporated, about 3-5 pulses. Add more water, if needed, a little at a time.

Divide the dough in half and form each half into a four-inch disk. Wrap disks tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for about 20 minutes.

For the filling: Stir apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, lemon zest, salt, and cinnamon together in a stockpot. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until apples are just tender but still hold their shape, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Spread apple mixture on rimmed baking sheet and let cool, about 30 minutes. (Filling can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)

Remove the dough from the freezer and let thaw about five minutes. Roll one disk of dough into a 12-inch circle between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic. Loosely roll the dough around your rolling pin and gently unroll it onto nine-inch pie plate, letting the excess dough hang over the edge. Ease dough into plate by gently lifting the edge of the dough with your hand while pressing into plate bottom with your other hand. Trim the overhanging dough to a half-inch beyond lip of pie plate. Wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic and refrigerate until dough is firm, about 15 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to its lowest position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fill pie shell with apple mixture. Roll the other disk of dough into 12-inch circle between two sheets of parchment or plastic. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto filling. Trim overhang of pie dough and crimp edge.

Set pie on foil or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least one and a half hours. Serve with ice cream!