This recipe, which was developed by a former pastry chef at Flea St. Café, remains my son’s favorite version of apple pie. A twist on the classic combination of cheddar cheese and apples, it may sound a bit unusual, but to us it’s even better.
1 1/2 cups whole grain pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup whole grain pastry flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
6 large crisp apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
To make the crust: in a large bowl, combine the flour, thyme, and salt. Grate the butter into the mix. Using your hands or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour mix until the pieces are about the size of a pea. Add the milk, 1/4 cup at a time, and blend until a soft, moist dough is formed. Add a few more tablespoons of milk if the dough seems dry. It should be somewhat sticky.
Form the dough into a ball, and then flatten into a round disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To make the topping: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cheese and pepper. Grate the butter into the mix. Using your hands or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour mix until the pieces are about the size of a pea. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the piecrust dough is chilled, place it on a well-floured surface and roll to about a 1/8 inch thickness, turning and flouring the dough often to keep it from sticking. Fold the dough in half and place in a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Unfold the dough, turn under the edges, and crimp them.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the apples, brown sugar, cornstarch, and nutmeg. Transfer to the prepared crust.
Crumble the crumb topping over the apples. Bake for 1 hour, or until the crust is browned and the apples are soft. Place on rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.