We are happy to welcome Kate McDermott as a guest blogger this week. Kate is the creator and founder of Art of the Pie. Since 2006 she has taught the time-honored craft of pie making to thousands. One of the most highly sought-after culinary instructors in the North America, Kate is widely acknowledged as one of the best makers of pie ever. Named “Food Rock Star” by Seattle Magazine, Kate has given her Art of the Pie workshop to food luminaries and has received high praise from Ruth Reichl (former editor of “Gourmet”), Dorie Greenspan, Gluten Free Girl (Shauna Ahern) and many others. In 2008 her pie was featured in “Saveur” Magazine’s Top 100 Issue and appeared on the cover. She has been written about in numerous books, magazines & blogs by award-winning authors. Always friendly, fun, and down-to-earth, Kate, a practitioner of kindness, aspires to pass on the craft of pie-making to as many as she can.
Apples ripe and ready to pick. The smell of the wood smoke in the air. Crisp fall air on my face. And pulling a freshly baked apple pie right out of the oven is my idea of a perfect afternoon.
I’ve been thinking about incorporating cheese into my pies for some time now. With the onset of the Autumn I moved it to the top of my list of recipes to create and share. Kerrygold was kind enough to send me some of their cheese to work with and I found that the addition makes for a subtle savory tang that really marries well with apples.
I tried three Kerrygold cheeses, Dubliner, Reserve Cheddar and Aged Cheddar and found that each was a wonderful addition to Apple Pie. I began by adding about 1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) of Dubliner grated cheese substituted for the same amount of Kerrygold Salted Butter. I was able to taste the cheese in the unbaked dough but when baked, I really felt that it needed more in order to pair nicely with my apples.
Next I tried grating 3.5 ounces (1/2 of block) of Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar, and 9 Tablespoons of butter. Putting that much cheese in, really gave it a cheddar zing! If you are a sharp cheese lover, this is right amount for you!
On my third pie, I returned to the Dubliner and used 2 ounces (4 Tablespoons) grated in addition to the 12 Tablespoons of Butter. I use both Salted and Unsalted butter in my pies with great results without adjusting the salt in my recipe. This cheese-butter combination is just the right amount.
After grating with the coarse side of my box grater, I chopped the cheese up a bit finer with a knife. The pie will have a little freckling on top where the cheese bits make their presence known. It’s very subtle and I think it looks quite pretty!
For the filling I used a number of varieties of apples to make a wonderful mélange of tart to sweet. At hand from my neighborhood trees were Gravenstein and King apples plus a few more unnamed varieties. Some Pippins, Golden Russet, or Bramley’s Seedling from the farmers market would be great additions as well as your own regional favorites. If I’m shopping my grocery produce section, I ask the produce manager if a taste might be possible. I really like to make sure that there will be good fruit flavor in my pie. Then I pick one or two from each “pieworthy” variety and put them all in to the filling!
I had a tablespoon or two of grated Dubliner still on my counter so I mixed that into the pie filling for some extra cheddar flavor, too, and it was delicious! This Apple Cheddar Pie will become a mainstay not only in my fall kitchen, but the crust will be one I will return to for some of of my savory pies, too.