Double Crusted Cheddar Apple Pie
My mother believed that an apple pie wasn't worth its crust if you didn't serve it with a big tangy chunk of cheddar cheese on the side. You could keep your a la mode; it was the combination of warm sweet cinnamon-spiced apples and sharp slightly-gooey cheese that made her Thanksgiving dinner complete. I saw Sara Moulton make this pie on the Food Network a few years ago and, with one or two tiny modifications to suit our family palate, it became a big hit.
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
4 tablespoons cold Crisco (vegetable shortening)
4 ounces SHARP Cheddar, grated and chilled
2 eggs yolks beaten with 1/3 cup cold water
3 pounds (approximately 8) Granny Smith apples (McIntosh are great, also)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (let's be honest: nutmeg from a shaker can will work well too) 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
Combine flour and salt in a food processor. Add butter and shortening; pulse until it looks like very coarse meal. Add cheddar. Pulse again. It should look like slightly less-coarse meal. Transfer mixture to another bowl.
Add the yolk mixture to the butter/shortening mixture; toss with a fork until it forms a dough. Add more cold water – 1 tablespoon at a time – if necessary. Form dough into a ball, flatten into a disc shape, dust with flour. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for at least one hour. (Overnight is okay.)
Roll half the dough 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Fit it into a 9-inch (1-quart) glass pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1 / 2 to 1-inch overhang. Chill while you prepare the filling.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel, core, and slice apples. In a large bowl toss apples, 3 / 4 cup of sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and lemon juice until well mixed. Pour filling into pie shell and dot with butter.
Roll remaining dough into a 14-inch on a lightly-floured surface. Drape over filling. Trim, leaving a one-inch overhang. Fold overhang under bottom cr4ust. Seal edges. Crimp. Brush lightly with milk. Cut slits with a sharp knife to vent ste3am.
Bake on a large baking sheet in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Turn heat down to 350 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes more, until crust is golden and apples are tender.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a chunk of the sharpest Cheddar cheese you can find. Enjoy!