Apple season is upon us!! Matt and I had originally planned to go apple picking this fall, like we sometimes do, but both the local grocery stores in our new ‘hood sell tons of local apples, something I was very excited to discover. We’ve found that this year at least, it’s been preferable to walk three blocks and replenish apples as desired instead of driving for two hours, picking two bushels and then frantically putting apples in absolutely everything to make sure they’re all used up before they go bad.
Either way, I promised Matt I’d make his favorite fall dessert, which is, as you might have surmised by now, an apple crisp. I needed a new twist though, and while combining apples with cheddar in desserts is probably older than time itself, it’s a combination I’ve rarely baked in my own kitchen. So it’s a new twist to me, if you will.
This one is rather interesting (I thought so, at least) – instead of incorporating the cheddar into the crust, chunks of super-sharp white cheddar are tossed with the apples before they go into the pan and get topped with the crisp. The result? Lovely! The crisp is definitely sweet, but contrasts so beautifully with the salty, sharp cheese in each bite. Of course the cheese gets melty and gooey in the oven, so there’s another contrast with the soft texture of the cheese complementing the crunch of the topping and the bite of the apples.
Matt was extremely happy with it! I bet you and yours will be too.
4 medium Gala apples, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tbs brown sugar
1 ½ tsp whole wheat pastry flour (can sub in all-purpose flour)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
6 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup loosely packed brown sugar
¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour (can sub in all-purpose flour)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional but highly recommended)
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
In a large bowl, toss the apples with the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add in the white cheddar cubes and toss again to combine. Set aside while you make the topping.
For the TOPPING, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add the butter and vanilla extract and use your fingers to disperse the butter throughout the dry ingredients.
Pour the apple mixture into a greased 8×8” square baker. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the apples. Bake until the crisp is golden and the apples are softened, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream, if desired.