This called for six apples (a combination of Granny Smith and Braeburn) and 2 cups of blueberries (the recipe said frozen could be used, but Kroger had some packages of fresh ones, so I went for fresh all the way). The apples were cooked until tender and the blackberries stirred in before they were added to the crust.
Now for the awesome crust! I’ve never blended anything into a piecrust mixture except the traditional water, butter or shortening, and flour. But this called for 1 1/2 cups shredded white Cheddar cheese to be part of the mixture. I know lots of folks love big slices of cheddar atop apples pies (I remember seeing this on pies in cafeteria lines), but I never considered actually making the cheese a part of the pie itself. How would this work?
The cheese is added after the butter is cut into the flour mixture so that it resembles small peas. After the cheese, water is drizzled onto the mixture until the dough can stick together to form a ball. Shaping the mixture into two flat disks, wrapping it in plastic wrap, and allowing it to chill (from 2 to 24 hours) is essential. By that point (I think I waited 6 hours) the dough is firm. It never stuck to the rolling pin or to the pastry board a single time during the rolling-out process. Lattice strips are cut from the second crust and woven over the top of the fruit. Again the pastry strips, cut from the chilled dough, were easy to work with and didn’t fall apart during the weaving process.
After having been brushed with a beaten egg, the crust is prone to brown speedily. The recipe directs that after 45 minutes, you cover it loosely with foil and bake a remaining 25. I had to cover mine before 45 minutes; I actually covered the edges with aluminum strips after about 10 minutes of baking because they were an over-browning disaster waiting to happen. After 75 minutes of baking the pie’s insides were bubbly; the outside, having been protected, was golden.
After Hubby and I returned from our promised birthday run both ways over the Two-Mile Bridge (over Lake Ray Hubbard), our daughter had arrived at our house to bring a balloon and birthday greetings, so we considered that to be our occasion to dig into the waiting pie. It became my birthday lunch. (I don’t suggest having pie for lunch every day, but on one’s birthday, living a little is surely sanctioned!) Absolutely stunning! The fruit combo of apples and blackberries and the from-scratch cheesy crust was a once-in-a-lifetime treat. On a birthday, Thanksgiving, or anytime table, Blackberry-Apple Pie is a memorable winner.
3 pounds Granny Smith apples
3 pounds Braeburn apples
1 1/2 cups sugar (or sugar substitute)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1 (12-ounce) package frozen blackberries (I used 2 cups fresh blackberries)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Peel apples and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges; toss with sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add apple mixture and sauté 15 to 20 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from heat. Cool completely (about 1 hour). Toss blackberries with 1 tablespoon flour and stir into apple mixture. Use immediately.
White Cheddar-Cheese Crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups (6-ounces) shredded white Cheddar cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup ice water
1 large egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute), lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon sparkling sugar
In a large bowl stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup ice water over flour mixture. Stir with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened and dough is crumbly but forms a ball when pressed together. Add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary, up to 1/4 cup. Divide dough in half. Place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape each dough half into a flat disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap; chill 2 to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 1 dough disk on a lightly floured surface; sprinkle dough lightly with flour. Roll dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. Starting at 1 edge of dough, wrap dough around rolling pin. Place rolling pin over a 9-inch pie plate; unroll dough over pie plate. Press dough into pie plate; trim off excess crust along edges. Spoon Blackberry-Apple Pie Filling into crust. Mound filling slightly in center. Roll remaining dough disk to about 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 9 (1-inch-wide) strips. Arrange strips in a lattice design over filing; gently press ends of strips into bottom crust; crimp edge of crust. Brush lattice with egg; sprinkle with sugar. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees on lower-oven rack 45 to 50 minutes. Cover loosely with foil to prevent excess browning. Bake 25 more minutes or until juices are thick and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Makes 8 to 10 servings.