What could be more fabulous than apple pie with sharp cheddar cheese on the side? One with the cheese baked right into the crust. This Apple Pie with Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Crust was made in honor of my Grandpa Hayes, who loved the unique combination. If you have never tried the pair, I know it sounds a little bit bizarre. But trust me on this one. A crumbly slab of cheddar is a centuries-old accompaniment to a slice of apple pie; it imparts character in a way that a scoop of ice cream can’t hope to match. Adding grated cheese to the crust tweaks the tradition, thus bringing an iconic dessert full circle.
Over the past two to three years I’ve written a lot about my Grandma Hayes and how her and my mom have taught me everything I know when it comes to cooking and especially baking. What I haven’t talked much about, is my Grandfather. John Hayes was your typical farmer, a hard worker and was always dressed in a t-shirt or a flannel and his John Deere hat. A few years ago he lost his battle with ALS, and every time I make an apple pie I think of him. If you’ve been following me for some time you know my Grandma Hayes makes the most incredible apple pie, and Grandpa and I were quite the fans of it. I have fond memories sitting around the large farm table in their kitchen when he was on a break from working in the barn. More often than not, we chatted over a piece of apple pie and a slice of sharp cheddar cheese.
Although Grandma never added cheddar cheese to the crust, I decided to tackle the recipe. I suggest using extra-sharp cheddar to bring out the flavor and although this may not be traditional, it’s fabulous.
1 hour and 10 minutes
3 hours and 30 minutes
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup (4 ounces) grated extra-sharp white Cheddar
2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
1 1/2 pounds Braeburn apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter, sliced into pats
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, for sprinkling