Updated: Jan 20
Are you Team Cheddar or Team Ice Cream?
I have to say I chuckled quite a bit writing about this pie. Not so much because of the pie itself, but because of the voice I heard when writing about it. My Dad is a native New Yorker with a pretty strong accent, when people meet him they’re not sure if he’s from New York or Boston, either way his accent is thick. I grew up listening to him leave off the ‘r’ on certain words. Instead of ‘car’ he would say ‘cah.’ And yet for some reason on words that don’t have an ‘r’ he adds one😂. My daughter’s name is Emma and her Grandfather calls her Emm’r’. I’ve been teasing him about this my whole life, thankfully he’s a good sport. So when I went to make MASSACHUSETTS’ Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust, all I could hear was my Dad in his Bostonian accent saying, ‘Apple Pie with Cheddah’ crust.’ Ok now back to being serious. I’ve never had apple pie with cheddar cheese before, I was interested to find out how this tradition began and of course give it a taste.
This pie starts off with a generous heaping of cheddar cheese right in the pie dough
Depending on what region you live in the US your version of apple pie probably varies from other parts of the country. The beauty of the apple pie is there are so many ways to change it up and make it delicious. Savory pies originated in England and it wasn’t uncommon to pair a cheese sauce with a pie. Some said it was served at the end of a meal and aided in digestion. This was probably the original ‘a la mode.’ In the early 19th century apples were not as flavorful as they are today. Adding cheese to a pie with bland apples makes sense. Cheddar cheese on apple pie is specific to New England and The Midwest. Both of these areas have an abundance of dairy farms. Before the availability of a freezer, for ice cream, cheese was accessible.
Taste of Home’s Browned Butter Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust has the cheese added right into the dough. This recipe calls for you to brown butter and sweeten the apples with brown sugar. Unlike my own apple pie recipe, there’s no addition of cinnamon, which works for this pie. I had to sneak a few cooked apples, to give them the ok. They were divine. I only let this pie cool for a short time before diving in. The sharp boldness of the cheese is evident at first bite, this is a good thing. With each mouthful it’s the perfect pairing of sweet and salty. I don’t think you can compare Apple Pie with Cheddar to a more traditional Apple Pie. They are the same, but different. Each pie delightful in its own way.
There’s lots of controversy out there about Cheddar on pie. Are you Team Cheddar or Team Ice Cream?
My Dad. The voice I heard while making this Apple 'Cheddah' Pie
*originally published November 15, 2019