Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add apple, and sauté 3 minutes or until just tender. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 425°. Heat shortening in a 9" cast-iron skillet in oven 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir together cornmeal and next 3 ingredients. Whisk together milk and egg; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Stir in 6 tablespoons melted butter. Add sautéed apple and cheese, stirring just until combined.
Pour batter into hot skillet. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until golden. Cut into wedges.