As we say in New England, "Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze." The sharp, nutty flavor of aged cheddar complements the sweet-spicy apples, a delicious tradition that goes back to the 1700's.
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold Cabot Salted Butter
6 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
5-6 tablespoons ice water
6 cups peeled, cored and thinly sliced cooking apples, such as Gala or Cortland (about 3 pounds apples)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons instant tapioca
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons Cabot Salted Butter
1 tablespoon milk (optional)
8 ounces Cabot Vintage Choice, Cabot Sharp Cheddar or Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, sliced Directions To make crust:
1. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt until well blended.
2. Cut butter and shortening into pieces and add to dry ingredients; work in with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal, with no pieces larger than a pea.
3. A tablespoon at a time, sprinkle ice water on top, tossing everything together to combine. When dough holds together easily when pressed, stop adding water.
4. Divide dough into two balls and press into flat disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. To make filling and bake pie:
1. In another large bowl, toss together apples, sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
2. Unwrap one disk of dough. Roll out on well-floured surface, rotating, turning over and sprinkling with more flour as needed, into approximate 12-inch round. Fold in half and transfer to 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, easing, not stretching, it into place.
3. Spoon apple mixture into pie plate. Cut remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into pieces and place on top of apples.
4. Roll out second disk of dough. Moisten edge of bottom crust with water and place top crust over apples. Press edges of dough together, trimming excess to about 1/2 inch. Tuck dough under itself and crimp with your fingers or a fork to seal. Make several slits in top crust to allow steam to escape. Brush top with milk if desired. Refrigerate pie while you preheat oven.
5. Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. 6. Bake pie for 20 minutes.
7. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 35 to 45 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown, apples are tender and filling is bubbling thickly, covering edge with foil if browning too quickly.
8. Cool to lukewarm or room temperature and serve with cheddar.