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Thanksgiving Recipe: Apple Crostata With Cheddar Crust

This delicious free-form apple pie is the perfect canvas to showcase our delicious local apples. Photo: D.Van Wert for GPTMC

Apples and cheddar are a classic combination. Together, the sharpness of the cheddar helps to balance the tartness of the apple, simply stated, it’s delicious. This combination is only enhanced when you combine locally grown apples with locally produced sharp cheddar, and we’re fortunate in Pennsylvania to have access to both.

Here we use a mixture of Granny Smith and Macoun apples, both sourced from our friends at Weaver’s Way in Chestnut Hill. For the cheese, we head straight to Green Aisle Grocery or the Fair Food Farmstand for a block of Cave Aged Pennsylvania Noble Cheddar Cheese.

Apple Crostata With Cheddar Crust
(adapted from Martha Stewart Living)

Cheddar Crust Ingredients
(makes two 11-inch disks)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
1 3/4 cups shredded PA Noble Cave Aged Cheddar Cheese
All-purpose flour, for surface
1 large egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling

For the Filling
2 tart Granny Smith, plus 2 Macoun apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon, plus an additional dash of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup apricot preserves, warmed

Directions
For the Cheddar Pastry Dough:
Pulse flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Drizzle 1/4 cup water evenly over mixture. Pulse until mixture just begins to hold together (dough should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse. Add cheese; pulse until just combined.

Shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Make the crust: Roll out one disk of dough to a 13-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

For the Filling:
Toss together apples, granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread filling over dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold edges in to form a crust; brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Refrigerate until edges are firm, about 30 minutes.

Bake crostata until apples are tender and crust is golden, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cool slightly. Brush apples with apricot preserves.