An apple pie without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze. Growing up in Texas, I'd never heard this saying until I went off to college in New England, where I was quite surprised the first time a friend offered me a slice of pie with a side of cheese. Do you eat apple pie with cheese? Do you like it on the side, melted on top, or baked inside?
Serving apple pie with cheese is common practice in parts of New England and the Midwest. (The tradition may have originated in Yorkshire, England.) It might sound strange if you've never tried it, but fruit and cheese is actually a classic combination – just think of cheese boards and grilled sandwiches with cheese and fruit. In pie form, the sweet-savory combination of tart and/or sugary apples, buttery crust, and sharp, slightly salty cheese is just wonderful.
Most people we know prefer a sharp Cheddar, but we have also heard of apple pie paired with Wensleydale, Roquefort, Cheshire, and Gruyère. Some people add the cheese while serving, either as a wedge on the side or melted on top of a warm slice, while others grate it into the filling or bake it into the crust. How about you?
Here are a few recipes:
• Apple-Cheddar Crumble Pie, from Country Living
• Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust, from Gourmet
• Cheddar-Crusted Apple Pie, from Martha Stewart
• Cheese-Straw Apple Pie, from John T. Edge, Apple Pie: An American Story
Related: Personal Taste: Do You Like Sweet-Savory Combinations?
(Images: Jessie Oleson/CakeSpy, James Fox/10engines, used by permission)