Usually when I think of cheese desserts, I think of cheesecake and…. Um. Cheesecake. That’s about it. Recently, though, just in time for Valentine’s Day, I discovered that you can actually make a whole table full of cheese desserts. You can serve aged cheddar with apples and an apple cider reduction, or fruity pastry pockets with cranberry sauce and cheddar, or top some apple tarts with shaved cheddar cheese. And the list goes on.
Last night, craving cheese as usual, I decided to make a dessert that seemed so wacky it could only end up being delicious: Bacon-Crumble Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese, from Every Day with Rachael Ray. In this recipe, bacon and cheese mix with a traditional crumb topping. Brilliant! In each bite, cheese, bacon, apples and lemon blend in a taste that’s more sweet than salty.
A few cook’s notes:
Crumble or chop the bacon into very small pieces; otherwise, the bacon will be pretty chewy.
If you want to make the pie crust from scratch, which is a healthier option, here is my go-to recipe.
As you load the apples and crumb topping into the pie shell, it will look like the pie is getting very full. Don’t worry, the pie won’t look like the Matterhorn when you pull it out of the oven! The apples will shrink as the pie bakes and the surface of the pie should look very even.
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Number of servings: 6
- 1/2 lb bacon (sliced)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 3 T unsalted butter (chilled and cut into small cubes)
- 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 apples (golden delicous, about 1 1/2 pounds totalpeeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 11/2 tsps grated lemon peel
- 1 pie shell (if store-bought, bake it according to package directions)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp; drain and crumble. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar; add the butter and, using your fingers, incorporate the butter until the mixture is crumbly.
- Stir in the bacon and cheese; refrigerate.
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the granulated sugar and lemon peel.
- Transfer to the pie shell and sprinkle with the topping.
- Place the pie on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- Cover loosely with foil and bake until golden and the apples are tender when pierced, 40 to 45 minutes; let cool before serving.
This February, treat your Valentine… or your friends, family or just yourself… to an incredible cheese dessert. Maybe even one loaded with bacon! If you’re looking for even more cheese dessert ideas, check out our Pinterest page.