New England Apple Cheddar Galette

“An apple pie without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze.” 

There is a tradition in New England, and some parts of the midwest, to serve a slice of cheese, usually sharp cheddar, alongside a piece of apple pie, or even melted on top. For those of us who didn’t grow up with this tradition, even though we may love eating apple slices with cheese, the whole idea of cheddar cheese with a pie is well, just wrong. As in, “are you kidding?” wrong.

If this is you, I understand. But just let the idea percolate a little while. Apples and cheese are good together, right? A slice of apple with a slice of cheese—bare, naked perfection. Why? Because apples are both sweet and a little tart, and cheese is salty with plenty of umami. So your taste buds are firing on all cylinders when you eat them in combination. 

Still, the idea of cheddar with or in a sweet apple dessert is weird, to those of us unaccustomed to the idea. So, you’ll have to just trust me on this one. It’s good. Like “where has this been all my life?” good. I’m speaking from experience here. I have shunned the idea since the first time I heard of it. But this week I decided to take the plunge and make a simple galette, a rustic tart with apples, some maple syrup for sweetener, cheddar, in a buttery, cheddar speckled crust. All I can say is WOW. Thank you New England.

New England Apple Cheddar Galette Recipe

  • Prep time: 40 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 servings.

If using a tart apple such as a Granny Smith, you may want to add a little sugar or more maple syrup to the filling to balance the tartness of the apple.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cups, 6 ounces, 170 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (85 ml) sour cream (full fat, not light)
  • 2 Tbsp finely grated sharp cheddar cheese

Filling

  • 4 good cooking apples, such as McIntosh, Courtland, Jonagold, Pippin, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Fuji, or a mixture of various cooking apples (NOT red delicious)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 half of a lemon, or the juice of half a lemon (to acidulate the water for holding the apples while you peel them to keep them from discoloring)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons minute tapioca or instant tapioca for thickener (can substitute corn starch)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed grated cheddar cheese

Method

Make the pastry dough

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1 Cut the butter into cubes. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour.

no-fail-pastry-dough-3 no-fail-pastry-dough-cheddar

2 Use your clean hands to squish the flour and butter together, breaking up the butter into smaller pieces until the mixture resembles a rather shaggy coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces of butter. Add the sour cream and a couple tablespoons of finely grated sharp cheddar cheese and stir with a fork until incorporated.

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3 Gather the mixture with your hands and form a ball. Shape the ball into a disk. Sprinkle with a little flour, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to a day ahead.

 

Prepare the galette

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1 Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Prepare a large bowl half filled with water. Squeeze into it the juice of half a lemon (and put the squeezed lemon in too if you want). Peel, quarter, and core the apples, and place into the acidulated water while you work to keep the apples from discoloring.

2 Remove the apple quarters from the water. Slice each apple quarter into 4 or 5 slices, lengthwise, about 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch thick at the widest end. Return the apple slices to the acidulated water.

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3 Drain the apple slices. Place the apple slices back in the now empty bowl. Sprinkle with maple syrup and cinnamon and gently toss so that the apple slices are lightly coated with both. Add the minute tapioca and the lemon zest. Gently toss again.

4 On a clean, lightly floured, flat surface, place the disk of dough. Roll out with a rolling pin to an even thickness and about 14 inches wide.

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5 Gently move the rolled out pastry dough to a parchment lined baking sheet. Starting from 2 inches from the perimeter of the pastry round, arrange the apple slices, side by side, in a circular pattern, filling the circle. It's okay if some of the apple slices overlap a little.

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6 Sprinkle the top of the apples with grated cheddar cheese. Gently fold the dough up over the apple slices, forming pleats with the dough every few inches.

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7 Place an egg in a small bowl with a teaspoon of water, beat with a fork or whisk until smooth. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over the exposed border of the dough (don't put on the apples, just the dough). Sprinkle the egg washed crust with coarse sugar.

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8 Bake for 10 to 15 minutes (until beginning to brown) at 400°F (205°C). Then lower the temperature to 375°F (190°C) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the apples are cooked through and the crust is nicely browned.

Cool until just lightly warm before serving.

Links:

Maple, Apple, Cheddar Pie from Mary of One Perfect Bite

An Apple Pie without the Cheese is Like a Kiss without the Squeeze from theKitchn

Cheddar Apple Squares from Yankee Magazine

Apple Chicken Quesadilla here on Simply Recipes

Apple Cheddar Galette on Simply Recipes

34 Comments

  1. Monica

    Yum! I love apples and cheddar cheese! I have never made a pie that way though! Maybe for Thanksgiving

  2. Emily

    How much cheddar goes in the filling?

  3. Elizabeth

    My head says this should be good and my Dad always used to eat apple pie with cheese I’ll have to bookmark this and try it when autumn hits in Australia.

  4. Marie @ Little Kitchie

    This is beautiful and sounds absolutely delicious!

  5. Virginia Hedquist

    Can you use a frozen deep dish pie shell instead of making the pie crust? Trader Joe’s carries a good one.

  6. Pat Machin

    Why did I never think of adding the cheese to the pie?

    We eat cheese with apple pie and also with rich fruit cake over here.

  7. lauri

    Here in Kansas we say: “Apple pie with the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze.”

    • Elise

      Thanks for the reminder of this saying Lauri, I think it dates back to England. I’ve added it to the post.

  8. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate

    I had never heard of this combination until I moved to Eastern Canada and it was quite prominent. I have never seen the cheese actually melted into the pie though, good idea!

  9. Anna H.

    I’ve seen several apple pie recipes with cheddar cheese in the crust, but never in the filling. I’m a fan of cheddar melted over hot applesauce, though, so this sounds amazing! (I’m from Washington State, by the way.)

  10. avis

    I have only ever encountered cheese on apple pie in books and I am OK with keeping it that way.

    That crust, however, is brilliant. I may use something like that for a quiche or a pot pie. Yum!

  11. David E

    I made it using a frozen pie shell. Very easy and delicious!

  12. I'm At Home Baking

    Oh my! This looks so amazing!

  13. George

    Never tried apple’s with cheese and never thought about it .I don’t think I will try it and how does it taste?

    • Elise

      Easy enough to find out, just take a slice of cheddar and place it on top of a slice of apple and eat.

  14. Kathy

    I made this last night and my husband and I loved it. I had never had cheddar on apple pie and I enjoyed it very much.

    The crust is easy and taste amazing. I will be using this for more than just this galette.

    Thank you again for a great recipe.

  15. Victoria

    I love your blog! I am from Kansas City, MO so the Heart of America and it doesn’t get more Midwest than that! I love cheese with apples it’s one of my favorite combos. I love pink apples so gala, fuji, pink lady. I normally slice the apple and eat it with white extra sharp cheddar. I also grew up eating a slice of cheese on top of a donut or muffin for breakfast for school. Never thought to bake the cheese into a pie. I might make this for thanksgiving!

  16. George Hooper

    Likely 60 years ago my Dad took me to Birmingham [we lived in Anniston, in NE AL] & we had lunch in Dale’s Cellar, I think it was. The point is that for dessert we had small, individual apple pies w/a sweetened cheddar sauce applied liberally to the top. I’ve never forgotten that, seen it anywhere else, nor been able to find a recipe for it.
    Any ideas?
    I really enjoy your site & have gotten quite a few great recipes from it – THANKS!

  17. Annie

    Wow, I haven’t seen cheddar cheese & apple pie together since I moved westward (a very very long time ago) from Connecticut. Thank you for reminding me that I have an excellent cheddar from WA State U (yeah, the one packed in a can) and apple pie in the fridge. But I have all the ingredients to make your galette, so I might make that as well…

  18. Megan

    I’ve tried to make galettes several times, but the crust has never cooked completely in the middle — there’s always a 4″ circle of raw crust in the center. How can I keep this from happening? I love the rustic look of a galette, and this one looks particularly delicious, but I don’t want to serve raw dessert. Does anyone else have this problem?

    • Elise

      What helps with this recipe is that you start the baking at a relatively high temperature, the sole purpose of which is to avoid the problem you are talking about. If you find raw crusts to be a problem with other galettes, make sure your filling isn’t too wet and start the baking at 400°F. Then after 10 or 15 minutes drop it to 375°.

  19. sabel

    I used to make a savory tart of apples, onions and cheddar. The crust used sour cream instead of half the butter or shortening and could tolerate more handling because of the sour cream.

    I also really like pears with gouda or havarti cheese. The milder flavor and fragile nature of the pears takes a cheese that is not quite as hearty and robust as cheddar. Try it on Rye Trisquits or on party rye bread. The caraway seed really goes well with it.

  20. Justin

    I’m going to try this recipe tonight but I think there might be something missing. You mention an egg wash in step 7 but an egg is not on the ingredients list.

    • Elise

      An “egg wash” is an optional step for any pie. It’s just one of those things you can do if you want. The egg doesn’t go in the crust or the filling.

  21. rehana

    How many pounds of apple is that? The four apples we used didn’t come close to fitting.

    • Elise

      I forget the weight, but it all really depends on the size of your apples. Just cut enough to make the pattern shown.

  22. Alanna

    I could pretty much live on cheese and fruit pies…but a cheesy fruit pie? I’m in love!

  23. Tracy

    I do enjoy sharp cheddar with apple pie but even more so with a slice of molasses raisin bread, such a treat with a cup of tea.

  24. Yeni

    Oh my! Beat any apple pie I ever bought anywhere. I left the dough 2 nights in the fridge, but it still resulted in the easiest, flakiest crust. The filling is just the perfect balance of sweetness and savoriness. We don’t like sugary filling, so this one without a drop of sugar is just perfect! This will be our go to apple dessert now! Thanks for sharing Elise!

  25. elise.kissling

    I made this for guests last night and it looked wonderful coming out of the oven. But we were all was disappointed. I told everyone to be honest. One good friend said: “It tastes like a pizza Hawaii with a note of Thai”. Next time I’ll go back to apples or pears with a slices of cheese.

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