Whaaatt? Two apple desserts in a row? My only excuse is that they're totally different from each other. I promise, promise, promise -- a savory dish is coming up next. Also, this is my monthly post with the #ProgressiveEats gang, and there are some wonderful savory apple dishes in the mix, along with some fabulous looking sweets.
One of the big questions I'm asked by friends is what apples are best for baking in pies. If you've baked as many pies as I have, you know that some types of apples break down too much for pie, and should be saved for making applesauce. Other apples don't have a strong enough flavor to shine in an apple pie. And let's face it, apple pies should be about apples. Duh.
Drum roll. My personal favorites are Pink Lady, Braeburn, and Gala. I've read that both Jonagold and Golden Delicious are good choices too, but I haven't yet tried them. If you're interested in reading about an in-depth delicious side-by-side test of a bunch of apples, check out Food Lab's Kenji's test on Serious Eats. It's the best article I've seen and worth a read.
My latest apple pie, Version at least #42, uses two kinds to create layers of flavor - Braeburn and Galas, and I threw a couple of pears into the mix for another layer. I originally had intentions of doing an old-fashioned deep dish pie, but since today was very fall-like here in Northern California, at the last minute, I made the pie with a little mixture I use to make hot buttered rum drinks. A drink that's perfect for cooler weather. Yay for fall. I'm ready.
The cheddar crust is entirely optional. If you want to make your own pie crust without cheese (the link takes you to a post with detailed instructions and photos) or purchase a pre-made frozen pie crust, it's totally fine.
But before you decide that, just think about how good apples and cheddar cheese are together. I like this combination so much, I have another apple pie with a cheddar cheese crust that includes raisins in it, and a lattice top.
Hot Buttered Rum Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust
- Cheddar Cheese Pie Crust minus the sugar
- ⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup ½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoon rum
- 3 apples combination of Gala and Braeburn, cored, peeled and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
- 2 Bartlett pears peeled and cored, about 2 cups
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon cream
- 1 tablespoon raw sugar Turbinado sugar
- Follow directions provided on the link under Ingredients. If you have a little pie dough left over, feel free to roll out the scraps and cut in the shape of an apple for the middle of the pie. Alternatively, you can double the recipe and make a double crusted pie.
- Combine the sugar, butter, spices, and salt together in a microwaveable dish. Heat long enough to melt the butter. Stir in the rum.
- Place the apples, pears, lemon juice, and raisins in a large bowl. Toss with the butter-rum mixture until the fruit is completely coated. Pile half of the fruit into the pie shell. Arrange the remaining half of the fruit on top.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Place the pie on a baking sheet - just in case it bubbles over, and bake until bubbly - about 50 minutes. Be sure to check the crust after 25 - 30 minutes. You may need to cover it with foil to keep it from over-browning.