Granny Smith apples are good for baking in pies, and they add a tart contrast to the sharp cheddar flavor in the crust.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup ice water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
10 cup very thinly sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 2 3/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Dash of salt
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1 tablespoon flour and cheese in a small bowl; toss well. Place mixture in freezer for 10 minutes.
Combine 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup ice water in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended to form a slurry. Combine 1 3/4 cups flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in cheese mixture. Add slurry; toss with a fork. Sprinkle surface with up to 1 tablespoon ice water, tossing with a fork until moist and crumbly (do not form a ball). Mixture will seem slightly dry.
Divide dough in half. Gently press each half into a 4-inch circle on 2 sheets of overlapping heavy-duty plastic wrap; cover with 2 additional sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll each dough half, still covered, into a 12-inch circle. Chill 30 minutes or until plastic wrap can be easily removed.
To prepare filling, combine apple and lemon juice in a large bowl. Combine 3 tablespoons flour, brown sugar, and next 5 ingredients (brown sugar through dash of salt) in a small bowl. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over apples; toss well to coat.
To assemble pie, remove top sheets of plastic wrap from 1 dough circle; fit dough, plastic wrap side up, into a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray, letting dough extend over edge of plate. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Spoon filling into crust. Brush edges of crust lightly with water. Remove top sheets of plastic wrap from remaining dough circle; place, plastic wrap side up, on apple mixture. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Press edges of dough together; fold edges under, and flute. Cut 3 (1-inch) slits in top of pastry using a sharp knife.
Combine egg white and 1 tablespoon water; brush over top and edges of pie. Place pie on a baking sheet; bake at 400° for 45 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
The filling was my favorite part of this, with such a surprising kick from the ginger and really nice bright lemon flavor. Very different from your standard apple pie. The crust was yummy but I was disappointed the cheddar flavor wasn't stronger. I'd use a full cup of cheddar in the crust next time, and sprinkle a little extra into the apple filling for good measure! Very yummy.
This was my first attempt at making a pie crust, and though it certainly wasn't a disaster, it was not as the recipe would suggest. Firstly, I ended up having far less crust dough than the recipe said it would create, so the top layer of crust was only enough to cover about half the pie. Secondly, the crust ended up tough (as in, I couldn't even cut it with my fork) and bland. The filling, on the other hand, was wonderful! I love the flavor combinations of Granny Smith apples, lemon, and spices.
All in all, I'd say this recipe is probably best done by an experienced baker. My pie ended up edible and somewhat tasty, but don't make my novice mistake of attempting this as a beginner.
I was quite unhappy with the result of this pie. I liked the lemon/apple flavor combination, but the crust was a disaster. It was too much work to bother again; in fact, I threw the recipe away after one taste. The crust (ok, I'm no expert at making pie crust, but this was my biggest failure among some misses and some real successes) was dry and hard. I followed the recipe - it said it would be somewhat dry. It was more like loose flour! It fell apart. And the taste wasn't worth the effort.
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