Brown Butter and Cheddar Apple Pie

By • September 13, 2010 • 80 Comments



Author Notes: I figured if I was going to pay top dollar for a bag of beautiful local apples at the farmer’s market, I wanted them to be the star of my pie. So, I skipped the (potentially overwhelming) traditional spices and just tossed the apples with sugar and browned butter, not unlike the filling for Nancy Silverton’s apple crumble in her great baking book Pastries from the La Brea Bakery. Next, I turned to Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau’s Once Upon a Tart cookbook to riff on their killer tart crust, adding a handful of grated cheddar cheese and a bit of lard (yep, lard) for good measure. - MidgeMidge

Food52 Review: Midge's pie is an homage to apples in their purest form. She employs no cinnamon or nutmeg to cloak their sweet perfume; instead she browns some butter, which complements the apples with a faint nuttiness. The crust is tender and flaky, with a muted burst of cheddar breaking through towards the end of each bite. It's crucial to chill the dough as Midge directs -- then you're sure to end up with a perfect, and perfectly gorgeous, fall apple pie. - A&MA&M

Serves 8-10

filling

  • 3 pounds apples, preferably a combo of Cortland and Honey Crisp, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

pie crust

  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 3 tablespoons semolina flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cold lard
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp yellow cheddar
  • small glass ice water
  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
  1. Toss apples and sugars together in large bowl. Set aside for an hour to allow apples to break down.
  2. Sift flours and salt together by hand or in bowl of food processor.
  3. Add butter, along with the lard and cheese, to flour mixture. Pulse food processor (or cut into flour quickly by hand) just until fat and flours turn into a pebbly mixture.
  4. Remove blade from processor and sprinkle about 6 tablespoons of ice water on pebbly mixture. Using your hands, gently combine until the dough starts to hold together. Add more water as needed.
  5. Cut dough in half and form into disks, one a bit bigger than the other. Wrap with wax paper and chill for about 30 minutes.
  6. Roll out larger disk of dough on floured surface. Gently fit into pie dish, crimping the edges. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 400.
  7. Poke dough in pie dish with fork to ventilate. Line with parchment or foil and add pie weights (or beans and/or rice). Bake for 10 minutes. Remove parchment and pie weights and bake for another 5-10 minutes until pie shell starts to look dry-ish on the bottom. Cool.
  8. Meanwhile, onto the filling: Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over med-high heat. Swirl until the foam subsides and the butter turns a nut brown color. Watch closely - this can burn quickly. Toss with apples.
  9. Dissolve the cornstarch in the 2 tablespoons of water and toss into apple mixture.
  10. Roll out second disk of dough on floured surface to fit the top of your pie.
  11. Fill par-baked pie shell with apple mixture. Gently fit top over the filling, crimping the edges. With a sharp knife, cut slits or poke with fork to vent.
  12. Beat egg with one tablespoon of water. Brush egg wash on top of pie.
  13. Bake at 350 for about 50-60 minutes, until filling is bubbly.

Tags: apple pie, cheddar, dinner party, fall

Comments (80) Questions (0)

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10 months ago Angel

I made this pie today, and it is delightful. I absolutely love this crust, and will use it in other recipes. Midge- I apologize upfront for varying the recipe, however I followed ATK method of using vodka instead of water for making the crust. Amazing all around. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on the achievement!

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10 months ago Midge

Thanks so much Angel. I've yet to use ATK method but I'm dying to try it.

Stringio

over 1 year ago graemefouste

Amazing apple pie and it is seriously heaven. The crust makes this soooo good.

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10 months ago Midge

Thank you :)

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over 2 years ago FoodieFlirt

Midge, I made this pie over the weekend and it is perfection. A perfect balance of savory and sweet and the pie crust... fabulous! Thank you for sharing!

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over 2 years ago Midge

Thanks FoodieFlirt!

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almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Midge that is one gorgeous pie! All these amazing pies submitted. Really fantastic!

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almost 3 years ago Midge

Thanks so much. The pie contest really yielded a ton of great recipes.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

i wish i had this for dinner. right. now.

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almost 3 years ago Midge

Sounds like a good dinner to me. I think the next apple pie I make though will be yours!

Sarahnewspaper

over 3 years ago Sarah Plumley

Beautiful Pie!

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over 3 years ago Midge

thank you!

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over 3 years ago hausproud

Made this for our town library's pie sale, and received the ultimate compliment....librarian bought it the night before and didn't even put it in the sale!!! Happily I made a second one for us to have at home and it was truly delicious, especially for breakfast. Great recipe!

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over 3 years ago Midge

I love it! Thanks so much for your note. I'm thrilled you liked it. Love pie for breakfast.

Me2

over 3 years ago TheThinChef

Just getting around to perusing this recipe, and I can't wait to make it! I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I tend to not really love apple pie b/c of the spices in the filling—so this is perfect. Plus the cheddar crust...yes, please!

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over 3 years ago Midge

Thanks ThinChef. I'm totally with you on the spices, same reason I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. Hope you try it. And congrats on your cauliflower win!

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almost 4 years ago lapadia

Congrats on being the runner-up, what an exciting few days this has been, shared with you and your delicious pie - which I definitely look forward to trying very soon; Honey Crisps are my fave and I believe from my state! My offer stands; look me up if you come back out to the PacNW, so that we can cook something up!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Hi Midge, FYI...I just made your pie it is delicious and was fun to make! Thanks for the recipe...

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over 3 years ago Midge

Thanks, Lapadia. I'm so happy you liked it!

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almost 4 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

What an awesome pie! The brown butter move is inspired! As an - apparently - fellow JPite, I might just figure out where you live and come knocking at the door the next time I smell anything baking ;).

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks fiveandspice! Actually live in Rozi, but come on over anytime!

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almost 4 years ago eriin_83

I made this on Sunday afternoon. Fantastic way to spend a lazy fall day - truly delicious results. I swapped Gala's for the Cortlands because Cortlands aren't available in my area yet. I don't think the pie suffered for this. When I spoke of it to my family they agreed it reminded them of my great grandmother, who I'm told used to say "Apple pie without cheese is like a hug with out a squeeze." :o) Many thanks for sharing this recipe.

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almost 4 years ago Midge

What a great saying, and so true! I'm so happy you liked it. Love baking on Sunday afternoons too.

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almost 4 years ago ENunn

I"m making this tomorrow.

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almost 4 years ago Midge

I'm so glad; hope you like it.

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almost 4 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau’s Once Upon a Tart cookbook is definetely one of my favourite books.
Congratulations on being a finalist and on the twist on the recipe.

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks. It's one of my favorite cookbooks too.

Kay_at_lake

almost 4 years ago Kayb

I love a wedge of cheddar with an apple, or an apple pie; can't wait to try it in a crust, which it seems would lend itself wonderfully to all sorts of other fillings! Got my vote!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks Kayb. I think tomato would be pretty great too.

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almost 4 years ago tara pereira

I love the mix of browned butter,cheddar and apples in the fall. I have some fresh picked Cortlands that are all ready for some piemaking!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

It is a great combo. Cortlands are awesome in pies, I think.

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almost 4 years ago Jennifer Ann

congratulations, Midge! I cannot wait to try you recipe this weekend.

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks so much Jennifer Ann. Hope you like it.

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almost 4 years ago Petra N

This gets my vote! Both look good, but something about cheddar crust reminds me of my childhood.

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks so much PetraN!

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almost 4 years ago halfasiangirl

This is a must try! Apple pie with browned butter is a fantastic idea. Congratulations on being a finalist :)

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks! Hope you try it.

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almost 4 years ago adamnsvetcooking

Congrads on a great recipe and a nomination!!! I will be making this after we go apple picking!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thank you adamnsvetcooking! I hope you like it.

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almost 4 years ago Bevi

I love cheesy apple pies! Congrats!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks Bevi!

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almost 4 years ago TiggyBee

Congrats on your lovely pie!! : )

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks TiggyBee! Have saved your raspberry and pear pie to my recipes.

Me

almost 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Congrats Midge!! Your pie looks wonderful. Love cheese in my pie crusts now, and this is a great combo with the apples!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks ChezSuzanne!

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almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

Congrats, Midge, on being a finalist with your classic pie!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks Sagegreen. Hope you're having a good time in Belarus.

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almost 4 years ago lapadia

Midge, What a SMALL WORLD this is!!! I was born, raised and graduated from high school in Port Townsend, and yes, it is such a beautiful area! Let me know if you ever come back this way...and we can make pies!!!!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Sounds good! What a cool place to grow up.

Ashtaco

almost 4 years ago wanderash

I had a feeling this one would be a finalist! Looks delish! Congrats!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks wanderash! Love your blog.

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almost 4 years ago gingerroot

Congratulations on being a finalist!! I am looking forward to trying this - this sounds fantastic.

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks gingeroot! Can't wait to try out your winning recipe.

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almost 4 years ago lapadia

Congratulations Midge, I am honored to be a finalist with you...love your pie combo esp. browned butter; as I commented 10 days ago!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Likewise lapadia! I noticed you live in Gig Harbor. I lived in Port Townsend for a year, so beautiful out there!

Bananacakewithtangyvanilla

almost 4 years ago cookingintheheights

I'm about 10 minutes from pulling this pie out of the oven and the house smells just heavenly!!!! I'm gonna eat a slice, even if the hour will be ridiculously late....

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Congrats, Midge!! I'm going apple picking this weekend. Might have to try this mighty fine pie! What's a Honey Crisp similar to?

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks so much mrslarkin. Not sure what a honeycrisp is similar to; they are super crispy and great for eating. I was pleasantly surprised with how well they worked in the pie.

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Wow, thanks! That was some seriously steep pie competition. I feel so honored!

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almost 4 years ago nannydeb

This sounds wonderful! Congrats on being a finalist!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

thanks nannydeb!

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almost 4 years ago cheese1227

Lovely pie!! And I'm on a brown butter kick this week. Kismet?

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks! Brown butter makes everything taste better.

Winnie100

almost 4 years ago WinnieAb

I love the butter and lard combo- I do that a lot when I make crust...
This looks spectacular. I just picked up a bunch of honeycrisp apples from my fav local apple farm and hope to make this over the weekend ;)

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thank you. Honeycrisps are my favorite, though golden delicious are right up there.

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almost 4 years ago Lizthechef

Congrats on being a finalist - your pie looks terrific!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks Lizthechef. Check out your new blog; it's great!

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almost 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Gorgeous, delicious sounding pie--congratulations on being a finalist!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks drbabs!

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almost 4 years ago MIGirl


Looking forward to making this for my husband, apple pie and cheddar is one of his favorite combinations.

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Or I can make it for you when I visit you and MI baby in a couple weeks. Can't wait!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Thanks so much for the nice comments everyone. I see a lot of pie in my future with all these amazing recipes.

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almost 4 years ago gingerroot

Mmmm...this sounds so so good, apples and cheddar are one of my favorite pairings. I agree with you, I can imagine eating pie for the rest of the year with all of these fabulous offerings (including this one!!).

Me

almost 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I love browned butter and apples! Wonderful combination of flavors allowing the apples to remain the star. And I love cheese in a crust.

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almost 4 years ago Sunchowder

This looks fabulous!

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almost 4 years ago lapadia

Nice! Like your choice of ingredients to combine with these beautiful apples.

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almost 4 years ago TiggyBee

Really yummy!!

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almost 4 years ago thirschfeld

Like the silky texture lard gives to a crust, like nothing else. Looks like a great pie.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Midge, this looks and sounds glorious. Love cheddar with my slice o pie.

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almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

Yum. I love cheese with apple pie. This sounds wonderful!