Apple Pie with an Irish Cheddar Crust

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

We are happy to welcome Kate McDermott as a guest blogger this week. Kate is the creator and founder of Art of the Pie. Since 2006 she has taught the time-honored craft of pie making to thousands. One of the most highly sought-after culinary instructors in the North America, Kate is widely acknowledged as one of the best makers of pie ever. Named “Food Rock Star” by Seattle Magazine, Kate has given her Art of the Pie workshop to food luminaries and has received high praise from Ruth Reichl (former editor of “Gourmet”), Dorie Greenspan, Gluten Free Girl (Shauna Ahern) and many others. In 2008 her pie was featured in “Saveur” Magazine’s Top 100 Issue and appeared on the cover. She has been written about in numerous books, magazines & blogs by award-winning authors. Always friendly, fun, and down-to-earth, Kate, a practitioner of kindness, aspires to pass on the craft of pie-making to as many as she can.

Apple Pie with an Irish Cheddar Crust


Apple Pie with an Irish Cheddar Crust (2)

Apples ripe and ready to pick. The smell of the wood smoke in the air. Crisp fall air on my face. And pulling a freshly baked apple pie right out of the oven is my idea of a perfect afternoon.

I’ve been thinking about incorporating cheese into my pies for some time now. With the onset of the Autumn I moved it to the top of my list of recipes to create and share. Kerrygold was kind enough to send me some of their cheese to work with and I found that the addition makes for a subtle savory tang that really marries well with apples.

I tried three Kerrygold cheeses, DublinerReserve Cheddar and Aged Cheddar and found that each was a wonderful addition to Apple Pie. I began by adding about 1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) of Dubliner grated cheese substituted for the same amount of Kerrygold Salted Butter. I was able to taste the cheese in the unbaked dough but when baked, I really felt that it needed more in order to pair nicely with my apples.

Next I tried grating 3.5 ounces (1/2 of block) of Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar, and 9 Tablespoons of butter. Putting that much cheese in, really gave it a cheddar zing! If you are a sharp cheese lover, this is right amount for you!

On my third pie, I returned to the Dubliner and used 2 ounces (4 Tablespoons) grated in addition to the 12 Tablespoons of Butter. I use both Salted and Unsalted butter in my pies with great results without adjusting the salt in my recipe. This cheese-butter combination is just the right amount.

After grating with the coarse side of my box grater, I chopped the cheese up a bit finer with a knife. The pie will have a little freckling on top where the cheese bits make their presence known. It’s very subtle and I think it looks quite pretty!

For the filling I used a number of varieties of apples to make a wonderful mélange of tart to sweet. At hand from my neighborhood trees were Gravenstein and King apples plus a few more unnamed varieties. Some Pippins, Golden Russet, or Bramley’s Seedling from the farmers market would be great additions as well as your own regional favorites. If I’m shopping my grocery produce section, I ask the produce manager if a taste might be possible. I really like to make sure that there will be good fruit flavor in my pie. Then I pick one or two from each “pieworthy” variety and put them all in to the filling!

Apple Pie with an Irish Cheddar Crust (2)

I had a tablespoon or two of grated Dubliner still on my counter so I mixed that into the pie filling for some extra cheddar flavor, too, and it was delicious! This Apple Cheddar Pie will become a mainstay not only in my fall kitchen, but the crust will be one I will return to for some of of my savory pies, too.

Apple Pie with an Irish Cheddar Crust
  • Art of the Pie Double Crust Pie Dough
  • (adapted for use with Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese or Kerrygold Cheddar Cheese – both are great)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 Tablespoons Kerrygold Irish Salted Butter orUnsalted Butter cut into various small pieces ? pea to walnut size
  • 2 oz (4 Tablespoons) Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, grated and chopped fine with a knife
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6-8 Tablespoons of ice water (this is an average but it can take a little more or a little less)
  • Apple Pie Filling
  • For a 9" Deep Dish Apple Pie
  • About 10 cups heritage apples (skin on), quartered and cored.
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 gratings nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Kerrygold Salted Butter chopped into little pieces
  • Egg Wash
  • 1 egg white mixed with 2 Tablespoons of water
  • 1-2 Tablespoons sugar

Procedure for Dough

Combine all ingredients but the ice water in a large bowl.

With clean hands or pastry cutter, blend the mixture together until it looks like coarse meal with some lumps in it.

Sprinkle ice water over mixture and stir lightly with a fork.

Squeeze a handful of dough together. Mix in a bit more water if it doesn’t keep together.

Divide the dough in half and make two chubby disks about 5 inches across.

Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.

Take out one disk and put it on a well floured board. Sprinkle some flour onto the top of the disk. Thump the disk with your rolling pin several times. Turn it over and thump the other side.

Sprinkle more flour onto the top of the crust if needed to keep the pin from sticking and roll the crust out from the center in all directions. When it is an inch or so larger than your pie pan, fold the dough over the top of the pin and lay it in the pie pan carefully.

Don’t worry if the crust needs to be patched together; just paint a little water where it needs to be patched and “glue” on the patch piece.

Put the filling in the pie and repeat the process with the other disk.


Procedure for Filling

Slice apples in 1/2 inch slices.

In a large mixing bowl put all ingredients together except butter and mix lightly until most of the apple surfaces are covered.


Constructing the Pie

Pour into an unbaked pie crust, mounding high.

Dot with butter.

Roll out 2nd crust and place on top. Roll up edges and crimp edges with a fork.

Cut vent holes.

Paint with egg white wash.

Sprinkle sugar on top.


Baking the Pie

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F and bake for 40-50 minutes longer.

If you get your ear close to the top of the pie you should hear some sizzle in the crust and a gentle whumping sound from inside the pie letting you know that your pie is done!

Cool for at least 1 hour.


Kate McDermott


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