My last properly gifted cookbook was a Christmas present from my mother, The Great British Book Of Baking. Strangely I haven't been that inspired to make too many recipes from that book, (have tried about 3 or 4 so far) why, I'm not really sure? I tend to skim a lot of recipe books and decide I may like the look of a lot of the recipes, but I think they are either too challenging, or I haven't got all the ingredients to hand and I'm not tempted enough to go out and buy them. I tend to get most inspired by other bloggers recipes more recently.
So, back to the challenge, a short flick of the pages later we have...taa daaa....Apple Pie with a Cheddar Crust!
Hmmm...have made lots of apple pies in the past but never one with a Cheddar crust before...from knowledge this is something of a Yorkshire tradition of serving apple pie with cheese. This recipe uses eating apples not the usual cooking apples (Bramleys). Here's how it goes.
300g plain flour
150g mature Cheddar cheese (chilled & grated)
150g unsalted butter (chilled and diced)
50ml cold water
1kg eating apples
3 tablespoons caster sugar
grated zest of half an unwaxed lemon
25g butter meted
caster sugar for sprinkling
Put the flour, salt and grated cheese in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix. Then add the diced cold butter and mix until fine breadcrumb stage. Add the cold water until the pastry comes together in the bowl. Flatten the dough and wrap in cling film and then chill for about 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and put a baking tray in the oven to heat.
Peel and core the apples and chop into slices, I put mine in some cold water with a few splashes of lemon juice as I was preparing them. Drain the apples and mix them with the lemon zest, the caster sugar and the melted butter in a bowl.
Grease your pie dish and then roll out about a third of the pastry to cover the bottom of the dish.
Put the apple mixture on top of the pastry and then roll out the pie top. Brush the pastry rim with cold water before putting the top on, then crimp the edges of the pie to seal it. Decorate the top of your pie if you like...with hearts in this case...'the way to a man's heart and all that good stuff'! Cut a couple of steam holes in the lid and sprinkle with caster sugar.
Bake on the hot baking tray for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and bake for a further 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with more caster sugar.
Serve with custard, cream or ice cream...or all three if your eating this over a few days as we did (this pie serves 6).
Now what to do with the leftover pastry? Cheesy jam tarts maybe? OR, how about a few cheese straws?
Simply roll out the leftover pastry cut into strips and twist each one, put on a baking tray for about 10 or 12 minutes in a 180C/350F/Gas 4 oven and once baked remove and dust with paprika, sea salt and ground black pepper.
To make them extra cheesy just kneed a few grams or so of grated Parmesan into the leftover pastry dough, or sprinkle with Parmesan prior to baking. Very nice, these cheesy straws were an added bonus and just as nice as the pie in fact!