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This homemade American Cheese Apple Pie with a Crumb Topping is a perfect blend of salty and sweet. Sweet, fresh apples are paired with cinnamon and sugar, and the flavors are enhanced by creamy, salty cheese. One of my all time favorite apple pie recipes!
I know what you’re thinking. (That is, if you’ve never tried apple cheese pie before.)
“Have you lost your mind?” followed by, “Cheese in a sweet pie??”
If you had asked me 10 years ago if I liked cheese with apple pie, I would have probably asked those very same questions.
But 10 years ago, I also would have said the only acceptable form of coffee was a frappuccino piled high and deep with whipped cream.
Needless to say, I have matured greatly. 😉
So, if you’re an American cheese apple pie skeptic, trust me on this one. This is one pie you need to try before formulating an opinion. I have a very strong suspicion it will be love at first bite.
My first experience of apple and cheese together was a homemade deep dish apple pie with a cheese crust I bought at a small country fair.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t realize it was an apple pie with cheese and had already committed to purchasing a slice before I re-read the sign.
Having only heard about apple and cheese together, I had no idea what to expect.
Would the filling taste like a cheese sauce? Would the crust taste like cheesy crackers? Would the scoop of vanilla ice cream I ordered on top be weird with cheese?
One bite of that rich cinnamon apple filling with the slightly salty crust and I was in love.
The pie was both a little salty and sweet, and the sharp white cheese enhanced the apple flavor. It was nothing like I pictured in the best way possible. The cheese is meant to complement the apples, not overpower the flavor. Rest assured, this isn’t a pie with a cheese sauce; it’s an apple pie with a nice salty, sharp bite only cheese can provide.
American Cheese Apple Pie Ingredients:
- all purpose flour
- cold butter
- ice cold water
- Cooper® Sharp White cheese
- Apples (I like to use a sweet apple, such as Honeycrisp)
- lemon juice (this keeps the apples from browning and adds a bit of freshness)
- granulated sugar
- all purpose flour (this thickens the filling)
- cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice
- vanilla extract
- Cooper® Sharp White cheese
- cold butter
- brown sugar
- all purpose flour
- Cooper® Sharp White cheese
Let’s talk about the cheese used in this recipe and why it’s important to the overall flavor and consistency of the pie.
When it comes to making an apple pie from scratch, I am very selective about ingredients. The ingredients you use can make or break your pie. From experience, there’s nothing more frustrating than peeling and slicing a batch of apples only to realize they’re flavorless and mealy in texture.
Likewise, when it comes to the cheese you utilize in an apple cheese pie, you want a quality cheese that’s sharp, creamy and melts. Cooper® Cheese is exactly the kind of cheese you want to utilize. The sharp American melds perfectly with the flaky pastry crust.
Being from the West Coast, I’m ecstatic to share with you that Cooper®, a Northeast regional favorite, is available online and ships around the country. Cooper® is made with the highest quality ingredients—all of which you can pronounce (nothing weird or added!). It has an unbeatable one-of-a-kind flavor that’s ultra creamy, unmistakably sharp and perfect for both sweet and savory meals (like this Skillet Chicken Pot Pie). It’s the taste of comfort and home.
A little background on the company (because I love learning about company brand and culture!), I.C. Cooper began making aged cheese in New York in the early 1860s. The brand has been a staple in the Northeast, and as loyal customers will share, it’s a family tradition.
Do I have to make a homemade crust?
- No, you don’t have to make a pie crust from scratch. While I definitely think you can taste a difference between homemade and store bought dough, if you’re in a hurry, you can use store-bought.
- In fact, you can even add cheese to your store bought dough. Roll out your store bought dough. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the dough. Use a rolling pin to press the cheese into your dough.
What apples should I use?
- Traditionally, most apple pie recipes call for a tart apple, like Granny Smith. Personally, I prefer a sweeter apple, such as Honeycrisp.
- When it comes to pairing the pie with cheese, I absolutely prefer a sweet apple. The sweetness really complements that sharp salty bite the cheese brings to the crust and overall flavor of pie.
- I’d look for Honey Crisp, Gala or Fuji apples. There are plenty of other sweet, crunchy apples out there, these are just the ones I find are easy to find at your local store.
Do I have to peel apples?
- No, you don’t. Most classic apple pie recipes with fresh apples call for peeled apples, but you certainly can skip this step. I prefer a peeled apple, but if you’re pressed for time, you can omit this step.
Baking Tips for this American Cheese Apple Crumb Pie:
- The crumb topping on this pie makes this a dutch apple pie with Sharp American cheese. The crumb topping is a combination of brown sugar, flour, butter and sharp shredded cheese. The topping adds a nice crunchy texture to the pie, as well as pairing well with the sharp cheese.
- To thicken the filling, I like to use flour. You can substitute cornstarch or minute tapioca if you prefer. I use about 1/3 cup of flour, and if you substitute one of the others, you’d probably only need 3 Tbsp or so of each.
- If you don’t have nutmeg, allspice or cloves, you can just use cinnamon.
- The Sharp American cheese is in all three layers of the pie: the crust, the filling and the crumb topping. It’s not just an apple pie with cheese crust; the slight saltiness is in every bite. Additionally, if you prefer more cheese flavor, you can increase the amounts I used in the recipe.
Salty and sweet friends, this one’s for you. 😉
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 10 Tbsp butter, cold and cubed
- 2/3 cup Cooper® Sharp White Pasteurized Process American Cheese, shredded
- 4-5 Tbsp water, cold
- 6-7 large apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup Cooper® Sharp White Pasteurized Process American Cheese, shredded
- 2 Tbsp butter, cold and cubed
- 8 Tbsp butter, cold and cubed
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup Cooper® Sharp White Pasteurized Process American Cheese, shredded
- In a large bowl using a fork or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add in shredded Cooper® Sharp White Cheese, mixing until just combined.
- Next, add in water, 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring after each addition. It’s ready when the dough begins to come together (you’re looking for dough that sticks together when touched, but isn’t wet).
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form the dough into a ball or a disc, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set aside your deep dish 9” or 10” pie plate.
- In a large bowl, mix apples with lemon juice, granulated sugar, spices, vanilla extract and flour. Set aside. (You will use the cheese and butter later during the assembly process.)
- Mix brown sugar and flour together. With a fork or pastry cutter, cut butter into the mixture until the crumbs form. Sprinkle in cheese, mixing gently until combined.
- On a floured surface, roll out pie dough into a large circle. Carefully transfer the dough to your pie plate. (I like to transfer by loosely wrapping the dough around a rolling pin and then unrolling it over the pie plate.)
- Gently press dough into the pie plate and remove any excess dough overhand (leaving about 1/2” of overhang). Tuck the 1/2” of dough underneath the edge of the crust, and crimp the edges.
- Sprinkle 1/3 cup of shredded cheese over the bottom of the crust.
- Pour half of the apple filling over the top. Place the cold butter cubes on top of the apples, as evenly dispersed as possible. Pour the remaining apple filling on top.
- Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top of the pie.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven to 375 degrees, cover the crust of the pie with a pie shield, and continue to bake for a remaining 40-45 minutes, until the crumb topping is golden brown and the filling is beginning to bubble.
- Allow the pie to cool before serving (the longer the pie cools, the thicker the pie filling will be).
- Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.