Monday, October 14, 2013

Apple Cheddar Pie - Feeding Larry Pt 14 - Church Potluck Dessert

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I love a good apple pie.  There seem to be a few folks that have never heard of adding Cheddar Cheese to an apple pie slice.  I got into the taste habt from my old high school.  Way back in the day, the lunch ladies made REAL pies to serve.  And we were given a choice of a slice of cheddar cheese on the top.  I think the lunch lady supervisor was from Wisconsin.

Ever since then I got into the habit of either offering a slice or making pies with the cheese already inside.  Whenever I offer this to a group, there are always folks who are surprised to see this... and pleasantly surprised by the taste.

Here's my favorite Apple Pie!

But first, we need to start with the crust...

Over the years I have tried (and usually failed with many crust recipes.  That is until my beloved Mother-in-Law offered to share her recipe.  It's old school, lard.  It is also flakey, crispy, a little crunchy and just about as perfect as it gets.

My Mother-in-Law's Lard Crust recipe

  • Makes 2 pie crust, or one to freeze for later and one to cut into 6 tart size
  • 3 Cups AP Flour
  • 1 Cup Lard (COLD from Refrigerator) 
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 tsp White Vinegar
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix Flour, Lard and Salt until crumbly
  2. Add water, egg and vinegar and mix until just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX as this will make the crust dense and tough, not flaky.
  3. Divide into two equal parts, refrigerate for an hour, roll out and use as you will!!!

 OK... Here;s what I did...

Cheddar Cheese Apple Pie

  • 3 Pounds Honey Crisp Apples
  • 1 TBS Flour
  • 1 TBS Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • Zest from 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese for Top (for this I used a microplane to get small pieces of cheese instead of larger pieces that I put inside the pie
  • 2 of My Mother-In-Laws Pie Crusts (chilled on the fridge for 1 hour before rolling out)
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine all of the ingredients, except the apples and cheese, into a bowl and Mix
  3. Peel the apples, Core and slice equal thickness, about 1/8the inch thick.
  4. Toss each slice into the dry mix and coat. Do this as you slice the apples so the slices stay fresh looking. When all the apples are finished, add 1/2 cup of shredded Cheddar Cheese and mix.
  5. Roll the first pie crust out to a width about 2 inch wider than the pie pan. Use plenty of board flout. Transfer this to the pie shell.
  6. Press the dough into the pie plate and up the sides. Take a fork and pierce the bottom in several places to prevent the dough from bubbling.
  7. Pour the apples into the pie shell and mix to remove any air pockets. Apples need to be laying flat.
  8. Roll out the second pie shell. Cut into strips and make a lattice on the top.
  9. Trim the excess dough from around the pie plate. Pinch the edges every 1/2 inch to seal the dough and lattice together and for presentation.
  10. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, raise the temperature to 400 degree. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top of the pie. Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes until the top crust is golden brown and the cheese has started to turn even darker.
  11. Allow to cool to room temperature before slicing.
  12. Serve Warm (blast a slice in the microwave for 30 seconds), Chilled or room temp and ENJOY!

My good Blogging buddy Larry has been RVing around the country and stopped by our little corner of the Universe.  I used the occasion of his visit to throw a Bobby Flay style BBQ Addiction Whoop de Doo with...

Fish, Fowl, Hoof, Larry, Snout and Fish!  

First up, the Fowl, that's a BBQ Turkey, brined and injected with Cajun Butter and Glazed with that Jack Daniel's Whiskey BBQ Sauce.
Second is the Hoof, a 30 Garlic Peppercorn Beef Roast.
Third is Larry hisself!
These Sweet Cherry Baby Back ribs are second from the right 
And last but not least... the Fish is an absolutely amazing Cranberry Walnut sauce Sugar Cured Whole Salmon Filet.

But even Larry does not travel 4,000 miles in a rolling Studio Apartment on Meat alone... Come back all this next week for my side dishes, desserts to go along with all that meat.

I started with a spectacular presentation of a simple Jell-o salad (Dessert???).  Just a little extra effort and I had Stained Glass Jell-O, worthy of any Church PotLuck.

And then I whipped up a quick and easy faux Succotash (no Lima Beans) of corn and tomato relish (salsa, or... well, why not go ahead and call  it a Succotash!) that added bright colors and a unique combination of tastes (and only takes about 10 minutes to make)!

I did serve two kinds of potatoes, not only these, but I also WHIPPED up what I consider the world's BEST Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  These have it all... BACON, Garlic, A secret ingredient that leaves them with a hint of natural sweetness.  They are creamy yet still have a little bit of texture lumps.  I like a few  skin on potatoes so there are bits of red potato skins for color, texture and health. Making mashed potatoes for any group is always tough as people like what they like and question why anyone would make something new.  But for me at least... BEST EVER GARLIC MASHED POTATOES!

For that second potato dish ( Mostly I like the look of the presentation of a big beef roast resting on a bed of)...
Garlic Green Beans, Red Potato warm Potato Salad!  Makes a beautiful presentation and loaded with flavors (and adds another vegetable to the table.

We are getting close to the end of my "Feeding Larry" series.

But I did want to remind you all of the AMAZING Mac and Cheese... Flavored with a package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing seasoning packet, this is about my very favorite.  Fast and Easy Ranch Mac and Cheese, can be made a day in advance, served warm or cold... A PERFECT Side Dish for any occasion!

I also jumped the Thanksgiving gun a bit with a Chorizo Sausage and Apple Dressing (never Stuffing) to pair with that Turkey.

And finally, I Cowboyed up with a pot of Easy Fast Cowboy Pork and Beans, Quick and Sweet.  Almost anytime I smoke something I am likely to make a pot of beans... tasty of course, but also adds moisture to the kettle as I cook.  And Tasty of course.

For dessert I served up pie!

I make a really special CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE (doesn't that sound delicious... it IS!).

Plopping this Cheddar Apple Pie down next to the Chocolate Pecan gave a couple of my favorite choices and I believe the whole group tried little slivers of each.  I got compliments on my crust, and surprise compliments on the cheesy Apple Pie.  I also made a Sweet Potato Pie (delicious to eat and fun to say).  But in my excitement I failed to get any photos of that pie... you just have to take my word for it.

All in all, it was a wonderful day.  My friends and family loved meeting Larry, bev and Pat.  We did indeed celebrate with food.  As a cook, I got all the hot dishes served hot, all the cold or chilled dishes served and more than enough choices that even the pickiest of eaters left with something to remember.

But mostly we just enjoyed a visit from our good blogging buddy and were very happy that he included us as a stop... Thanks for the chance to cook for you and yours Larry!

... 14 Dishes (15 if you count the Sweet Potato Pie with no photos).  I think I finally filled Larry up... Here's one last photo from the day, Larry's plate...


This simple recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Cakes and Pies at Home"!

These are the desserts you make for your family.  No fancy amazing wedding cakes, just the rustic beauty of the classics.  From pumpkin pie to cheesecakes to layer cakes, these are what your family craves for dessert.  You may even see a few unusual crusts and frosting ideas to try.

You get the idea. These recipes are simple, delicious and will have your family wanting dessert first...


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


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