The nooks! The crannies! I love this pie with its unique cheddar streusel topping. I make it when the weather first turns and apple trees in the area are weighed down with fruit. When I took this pie out of the oven, it looked so gorgeous and smelled so good I found myself unconsciously humming, “You’re just too good to be true” in sheer anticipation of taking my first bite. Mom’s Apple Pie never disappoints.
This recipe calls for a single crust on the bottom and a streusel-style crumble made of cheddar cheese, butter, flour, sugar, and salt, on top. Every time I make it, I add a just little more cheddar as I try to figure out just how much cheddar is too much for I love getting a taste of cheddar in every bite! Right now, I’m up to 1⅓ cups or four ounces. Mom’s original recipe called for 1/2 cup of cheese.
Yield: One 9-inch deep-dish pie
1 pie crust (I love Trader Jo’s Pie Crust)
3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (8 cups, or 2 pounds when cleaned)
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or ground cloves (optional)
1⅓ cups cheddar cheese (4 ounces), shredded
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, chipped into pieces
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 425º. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven on the middle rack and let it preheat along with the oven. Starting the baking process in a very hot oven with a pizza stone helps to ensure a cooked bottom crust. Place a baking sheet on the oven rack beneath the pizza stone to capture any juices that bubble over.
Mise en place
Roll out pie crust and place in the bottom of the pie plate. Fold edges in and crimp to make it pretty. Set aside.
Peel and slice the apples with a paring knife, or try one of the modern conveniences out there for peeling and slicing. Set sliced apples aside.
Mix filling ingredients in a bowl. The apples should be at room temperature to ensure even cooking. Set aside.
Mix topping ingredients until the streusel forms small chunks. I mix the topping ingredients either in a food processor
Or in a bowl with a pastry blender or mixer. Set aside.
Put It All Together
Pour filling into the prepared, uncooked pie crust. Pack the apples down
Place pie on the pizza stone and set the timer for 15 minutes.
When the timer rings, spread the topping mixture evenly over the pie filling and decrease the oven temperature to 350º. Set timer for 30 more minutes.
When the timer goes off, the topping should be lightly browned. Place a piece of foil loosely tented over the top to slow down further browning of the streusel.
Cook for another 20-30 minutes. The interior of the pie isn’t done until you see the juices start to bubble over.
The pie on the left has a fine streusel. The one on the right was processed a little longer until it clumped. I like the taste and texture of the clumpier streusel.
Finally, Waste Not, Want Not
My family and I get the apple slices; the chickens get the scraps.
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