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Original Sin Apple Pie with Beechers Cheddar and Sage Caramel

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Brittany Bardeleben’s a pie pro: She’s constantly dreaming up new iterations for the daily pie special at Seattle bistro Betty. But she’s no stranger to beer, either; the self-professed lover of cooking with booze makes a mean Guinness ice cream and recently devised a malted chocolate and stout fizz for a beer dinner with Seattle’s Pike Brewing. “Chefs always pair beer with chocolate or nuts, but I like to step outside the box,” she says. “Fruit pies are my thing, so this combination of fall apples and cider in a vodka crust evolved naturally.”

Makes: 6 to 8

  • Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed and frozen for 30 minutes
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cubed and frozen for 30 minutes
  • 1⁄4 cup vodka, ice-cold
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ---
  • Filling:
  • 2 12-ounce bottles Original Sin Pear Hard Cider
  • 4 apples (try a blend of Granny Smith and
  • Jonagold) peeled, cored and cut into
  • 11⁄2-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground clove
  • pinch sea salt


• For the crust, combine the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly to combine (or, use a pastry cutter or two forks to blend the ingredients in a large bowl). Add the frozen butter and cream cheese, and pulse until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is pea-sized. Add the water and vodka and pulse just to combine; the mixture should still be crumbly. With one hand, grab a handful of the crumbs and squeeze them together. If the mixture holds together, it’s done; if not, add more water, one teaspoon at a time. Dump the dough out onto a work surface and divide it into two piles, pressing each together to make two discs of dough. Wrap each disc in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour.

• To make the filling, pour the cider into a saucepan on high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and keep cider at a rapid simmer until the liquid has reduced to 1/3 cup. Set aside to cool completely.

• In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice and the reduced cider. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugars, spices, salt and cornstarch. Add the dry mixture to the apples and toss until well-combined, then allow mixture to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

• Preheat an oven to 375 degrees, and spray a 10-inch pie plate with nonstick baking spray. Roll out one disc of chilled dough into a 12- to 13-inch round and fit it into the plate, leaving at least 1 inch of excess pie dough hanging over the plate, and refrigerate. Roll out the second disc into an 11-inch round, invert it onto a sheet pan dusted with flour or lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate.

• Spoon the apple mixture into the pie plate, making sure to include all the juices, and dot the top of the fruit with the cold butter. Brush the over-hanging pie dough with cold water, place the chilled top crust over the fruit, and pinch the moistened dough edges together. Trim the edge with kitchen scissors, still leaving a 1/2 inch of overhanging dough. Fold the overhanging dough behind itself and if desired, crimp the edge.

• Slice a few steam vents into the top of the pie and, if desired, sprinkle the top with additional granulated sugar. Place on a sheet pan and bake 45 minutes, then lower heat to 325 degrees and continue baking for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the juices are bubbly.

• To serve, cut the pie into wedges, place a thin shard of Beechers cheddar (or your favorite sharp cheddar cheese) on each slice, and bake in a warm oven until the cheese melts. Drizzle each slice with sage caramel sauce (see below).

Note: Bardeleben’s earthy-sweet Sage Caramel Sauce adds some gooey love to her Original Sin Apple Pie, but it’s equally good over ice cream. Combine 4 sage leaves, torn in half, and 1 cup whipping cream in a small pot and bring to a boil; then, remove the mixture from heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes. Bring the mixture to a boil again, then strain into a measuring pitcher and cover to keep hot. In a separate pot, combine 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Cook, brushing down the sides of the pot with a brush dipped in water, until copper-colored; remove from heat. Slowly whisk in the hot sage- scented cream until smooth, then stir in 1 tablespoon butter and a pinch of sea salt.


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