Usually when I make apple pie it’s an assembly line attempt to use up all the apples from my tree, and I don’t really put any thought or effort into it. But this time I had come across some lovely honeycrisp apples from Washington and the first bite made my brain scream pie, so I thought I would step it up a bit. I also had some lovely Grizzly Aged gouda from Sylvan Star Cheese Farm, and since gouda and apples are a match made in cheese heaven, I thought I would try my hand at a gouda crust. I will be making this again for sure; the apples were perfect for pie and the gouda crust let it stand well on its own (although the Bourbon Ice Cream Katie brought topped it off beautifully as well). I also made some savory crackers out of the leftover crust that we all agreed were perfect for having with wine and olives (or maybe a tapenade?). Anyway, cheese crust will make it into my regular pie rotation for sure; so many cheeses, so little time.
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup lard
6 Tbsp sour cream (or yogurt)
1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded old gouda (easy subs would be aged cheddar or gruyere)
1. I used my food processor to shred the cheese, then switched the grater for the blade and added in the flour and salt, then pulsed a couple times to mix. If you don’t have a food processor just stir it together in a bowl.
2. Cube the lard, then add to flour mixture. Either pulse or use a pastry cutter until crumbly looking, then add in sour cream, a tablespoon at a time until it starts to come together (I almost always use all 6 Tbsps).
3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until everything is staying together. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for half an hour.
2 1/2 to 3 lbs baking apples (I used 7 big apples), peeled, cored and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup each, white and brown sugar
1 rounded tsp cinnamon
1 or 2 dashes each, nutmeg and allspice (I like apple pie fairly spicy, if you don’t, cut the cinnamon in half and skip the allspice)
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
1. Toss apples with lemon juice, then stir in sugars and spices (through salt). Allow to sit and macerate for at least half an hour, and up to 3 hours.
2. Drain the juice out of the apples and into a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add the butter and bring to a simmer to reduce the liquid. I had about a cup of juices and I reduced them roughly in half, however, I don’t think you would want much less than 1/2 a cup of liquid, so reduce accordingly.
3. Meanwhile, toss the cornstarch in with the apples, stirring until the cornstarch is no longer visible. Once the juices are reduced, add them back in with the apples and stir to combine.
4. Take out your pastry and cut in half. Roll each pastry out to fit your pan (I have become a big fan of metal pie plates, as the bottom crust crisps up much better). I found this dough a little trickier to work with, so flour your surface and rolling pin well.
5. Place bottom crust in plate, then add filling and top with your second sheet of pastry. Trim and pinch your crust, then slice a few vent holes in the top.
6. Bake at 450 for ten minutes, then reduce heat to 350 for another40-50 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned and the filling is bubbling (you can see in the vent holes). After the first ten minutes, add an edge protector or cover the edge of the crust with foil to prevent over browning (I was out of foil, as you can probably see from the picture).
7. Let cool for a couple of hours before serving.