Cheddar Crusted Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Chicago style popcorn mixes both cheddar corn and caramel corn, and although the combination may sound odd, it's delicious and satisfying of almost any craving-- sweet, salty, crunchy, cheesy... This pie riffs on that fantastic combination with another added element: apples! Served warm, this is the perfect winter treat.

applepie

Prep and cook time is about 5 hours, so it's an ideal perfect project for a day stuck inside during the cold weather.

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4.5 ounces butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese, frozen
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

Filling 

  • 10 apples (I used Fiji), peeled, cored, and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup)  unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine flour, sugar, salt, butter and frozen cheese in a food processor. Pulse until no dry flour remains and dough begins to break up.  Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with ice water. Form two equally sized dough balls, wrap with plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for 90-120 minutes.  

Roll one ball into a disk, and shape into a 9-inch pie pan. Chill for 30 minutes.

But while your dough is chilling, you can make your filling!

Cook sugar and water together over low heat until just dissolved. Add butter and bring to a slow boil. Continue cooking at a low boil until the mixture turns a deep, golden brown.  Once the mixture has turned a copper color, remove from the heat and immediately add the heavy cream. Whisk the final mixture together over low heat and sprinkle in sea salt. Set the caramel aside while you make the apple filling.

Put apples in a bowl and toss with spices until all of the pieces are coated. Pour the apples into the shaped bottom crust and top with the caramel sauce.

pie w apples

Roll the second ball of dough to create a flat shape, about 1/8 an inch thick.  Use a pizza cutter to slice 10 strips about 1/2 inch thick and 10+ inches long.

For the lattice top, lie five strips across the pie crust all in the same direction. Fold back strips two and four. Weave in the remaining five dough strips horizontally, which may sound confusing, so reference this awesome tutorial from The Kitchn.

pie2

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Chill the shaped pie for another 30 minutes.

pie3

Place the pie on the center rack of the oven for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Turn the oven down to 325°F, and move the pie to the bottom rack and bake for an additional 20 minutes rotating halfway through, or until the filling is bubbling and the outside is golden brown.

Allow pie to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Serve with slices of cheddar cheese and/or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

applepie

Recipe inspired by Four & Twenty Blackbirds and Serious Eats.