In a small, Northern Vermont Kitchen, we sate our appetites with homemade meals and a love of local ingredients.

Apple Pie with Cheddar and a Touch of Cayenne

Do you love apples? Do you love sharp cheddar cheese? Do you love a hint of spice?

Then you’re going to love this apple pie!

It’s savory, it’s slightly sweet, and it’s completely addictive.

It’s a Vermont tradition to eat apple pie with cheddar. Actually, it’s even more than that. The legislature passed this act in 1999.

When serving apple pie in Vermont, a “good faith” effort shall be made to meet one or more of the following conditions: 

(a) with a glass of cold milk,

(b) with a slice of cheddar cheese weighing a minimum of 1/2 ounce,

(c) with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.” 

So, when I had a ton of apples to use the first thing I thought of was cheddar in the crust. Hey, I want to be a decent Vermonter and make a good faith effort!

The cheddar and apple combination made me think of how good just a hint of spice would be. So, I threw cayenne in too.

This pie will be easy for you to make – assuming you aren’t dealing with itty bitty apples (like I was). I listened to two Seth Meyers podcasts in the amount of time it took me to peel those little rascals.

Was it worth it?

Absolutely.

Apple Pie with Cheddar and a Touch of Cayenne

Yield: 1 pie

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1 ½ sticks (very cold) unsalted butter, cubed

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese + 1 tablespoon, divided

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

6-8 tablespoons ice water

8 cups diced apples (I used small Empire apples)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cayenne

2 tablespoons room temperature salted butter

1 egg

Instructions:

Place flour, butter, ½ cup cheese, and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

Process until well blended.

Using the feed tube, add the water by the tablespoon until the dough “hula hoops” around the food processor bowl.

Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the diced apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, remaining salt, and cayenne.

Stir well.

Remove dough from the refrigerator, and divide in half.

Lightly flour cutting board, and roll the dough out so that it’s 2-inches larger than a 9-inch pie plate.

Fit the dough inside the pie plate.

Spoon the apples into the dough. Dot with unsalted butter.

Roll the remaining half of the dough into the same size round.

Using a pastry cutter, cut the dough into ¾-inch strips.

Place the strips over the apples in a lattice pattern, and trim any overhang. Pinch the strips together with the bottom dough.

Cover with aluminum foil, and place on a large, rimmed sheet pan.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove foil.

Whisk the egg and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl.

Gently brush the mixture over the top of the dough.

Scatter remining cheese over the top and bake uncovered for 10-12 minutes, or until the apples are cooked through and the pie is bubbly.

Let cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or a good glass of wine.

(Photos by Launie Kettler)

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