There’s a saying in Yorkshire that "apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze". I couldn’t agree more – tangy, salty cheese and sweet apple go beautifully together. I like to use a mixture of cooking and eating apples in this pie, in order to create a varied, interesting texture.
- 350 g plain flour
- 175 g cold unsalted butter, cut into roughly 1cm dice, plus extra for greasing
- 75 ml cold water (approximately)
- 500 g cooking apples
- 500 g eating apples
- 100 g caster sugar
- 125 g Wensleydale cheese, crumbled (or substitute chedder – see Note)
- A little milk
- About 1 tablespoon caster sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Pastry resting time: 30 minutes
1. To make the pastry, put the flour in a bowl. Add the diced butter and rub it in lightly with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, do this in a food processor or a mixer and then transfer to a bowl.
2. Using a table knife, work in just enough cold water to bring the pastry together. When the dough begins to stick together, use your hands to gently knead it into a ball. Wrap the pastry in cling film and rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
3. Heat your oven to 200°C/gas 6. Lightly butter a baking tin, about 26cm x 20cm and 3-4cm deep.
4. For the filling, peel, quarter and core all the apples. Slice into a large bowl and mix them together.
5. Once the dough has rested, cut it into two pieces, roughly one-third and two-thirds. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Roll out the larger piece of pastry so it’s a good 6 cm larger all round than the base of the tin. Line the base and sides of the tin with the pastry, leaving the excess hanging over the sides.
6. Lay a third of the apple slices in the pastry-lined tin and sprinkle with a third of the sugar. Repeat with the remaining apple and sugar. Now scatter the crumbled cheese evenly over the fruit.
7. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid. Brush the edges of the pastry in the tin with milk then put the pastry lid on top. Seal the edges with your fingertips and trim off the excess pastry neatly. Brush the pastry with milk and sprinkle over a little sugar. Make two slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
8. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Leave for at least 15 minutes before slicing. The pie is delicious hot or cold and needs no accompaniment.
• Wensleydale is a mild, salty hard cow’s milk English cheese, traditionally make in Yorkshire. Use a mild cheddar instead.