7-8 thin slices of sharp white or yellow cheddar (optional)
Apple pie brings back such wonderful memories of making them with my Mother and Grandmother. In trying to do a fresh take on a traditional dessert, I thought of adding beer to my pie to give it a wonderful earthiness. I think it did just that and makes it a stand out dessert one my Grandmother would be proud to eat.
Heat oven to 425.
While you are making the crust – pour the bottle of Blue Moon Belgium White into a saucepan and gently boil until it is reduced by half and somewhat syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Crust: In a food processor sift the flour. Add the salt and pulse twice. Add the cold shortening cut into chunks and pulse until it looks shaggy or like peas. Turn into a bowl and sprinkle 5 Tbsp. of the ice water over the mixture and gently toss to combine. If the mixture seems dry add more ice water 1 Tbsp at a time. Do not overmix the dough. When it comes together in a cohesive ball cover and let rest on the counter.
Place the apples in a large bowl and mix in the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and flour. Mix well. Slowly add the reduced beer and mix enough in to make it moist but not soupy. Let this sit while you roll out your dough.
Split the dough in half and roll out on a floured surface to a 10" circle. Roll onto your rolling pin and gently place in the 9" pie tin. Roll out the other half. Check your filling to see if it could use more of the reduced beer if you have not used all of it. Pour the apple filling into the pie tin with bottom crust. Sprinkle with the chopped butter. Cover with the top crust and seal by crimping (your favorite method), Brush the top with the milk and sprinkle with the sugar. (If you are going to top with the cheese at serving I would recommend not milking and sugaring the crust). Cover the bottom of your oven with foil to catch any bubblies.
Bake at 425 for 10-12 min. Reduce the oven to 350 and bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown. The smell will druve you wild.
Remove from oven and let sit for 1 hour before serving. ( If you are going to use the cheese – just before serving halve the cheese slices into triangles and place around the pie (making a nice design) as many slices as pieces you are going to cut. Pop into a 350 oven for 5 min to slightly soften the cheese). Serve the pie with a lovely glass of Blue Moon or a great cup of coffee.
Variation: If you like French Apple Pie you can soak 1/2 cup of raisins in Blue Moon to plump and add them to the apple mixture along with the reduced beer. Or try the raisins beer plumped with a regular pie.