An Epic Thanksgiving Apple Pie Recipe

Last year I went pretty basic with a classic Pumpkin Pie.  This year, we're going big.  This apple pie recipe from Cake Monkey Bakery is far from ordinary.  It involves a lot of steps, including a cheddar crust. Yes, cheese!  If you like cheese and apples, this will make total sense to you.  The cheese flavor is very subtle - it's not like you're eating a Cheez-It or anything.   There's a savory quality to the flaky exterior that goes really well with the Pink Lady and tart Granny Smith apples.


They roast the apples with Vermont Apple Cider Jelly,  brown butter, and vanilla bean.  The filling is dense and sweet.  The apples aren't whole, they're more like a thick applesauce.  They actually remind me pecan-pie filling.  It is definitely an extraordinary Thanksgiving pie, but not in an over-the-top way.  This one is a gift for me from the bakery; I wish I could take it with me to Austin for Thanksgiving this year!


Below is the recipe for anyone who wants to be a dessert superstar.  If you don't feel like baking, you can order your pie through November 22 at 12pm for delivery or pickup in Los Angeles.  They also ship some of their baked goods nationwide - contact Cake Monkey Bakery.


Cider-Roasted Apple Pie in Double Cheddar Crust 

Yield: One double crusted 9” round pie

Recipe by Elizabeth Belkind, Cake Monkey Bakery


Cider Roasted Apple Pie Filling

  • 5 peeled, cored Pink Lady Apples

  • 3 peeled, cored Granny Smith Apples

  • 1 cup Vermont apple cider jelly

  • 1/3 c granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown butter (see recipe)

  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Cheddar Cheese Pie Dough

  • 113 g Butter (cold)

  • 184 g Pastry Flour

  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp Salt

  • 1/8 tsp Baking Powder

  • 85 g Aged White Cheddar Cheese

  • 36 g Ice Water

  • 7 g Apple Cider Vinegar

  • *For Garnish – 2 Tbsp Raw Sugar


For the Filling:

  1. Place the cold butter in a heavy bottomed, non-reactive sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts, whisk gently.

  2. Lower flame to medium low and continue heating and whisking occasionally until butter becomes first, thick and foamy, and then very bubbly. Whisk continuously until you see small, copper colored flecks floating towards the top of the pan. Remove from heat. Add the scraped vanilla bean and the vanilla pulp, and whisk to dissolve into the butter. Set aside.

  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  4. Slice each apple into 10 or 12 wedges.

  5. In a large bowl, combine the apples, the cider jelly, the granulated sugar, and the vanilla brown butter. With your hands, or a spatula, toss all the ingredients together until the apples are evenly coated in the jelly and butter.

  6. Transfer the apples to a large roasting pan. Place the apple pan in the oven. The apples will take anywhere from one hour to one and a half hours to reach desired consistency and color. Be sure to stir the apples gently every 25 minutes to prevent the top surface from burning. You will notice that the granny smith apples will become soft and saucy and the pink lady apples will retain their shape. Stirring will baste the apples and yield an evenly cooked, richly caramelized filling. Allow the filling to cool to room temperature before using.

For the Dough:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F

  2. Cut the butter into small cubes. Put the flour, salt, and baking powder in a mixer with the paddle attachment and mix to combine. Add the cheese and mix for about 20 seconds. Add the cold butter cubes and mix until the butter is pea size. Add the water and vinegar. Mix until most of the butter is reduced to the size of a small pea.

  3. Press dough into a disk and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

  4. Divide dough in half and roll into two 12” rounds that are 1/4 “ thick. Line a 9” pie pan with one round of dough. Press dough neatly into the pan and trim the edges to they are only slightly longer than the pan.

  5. Chill the shaped pie shell for 15 minutes in the freezer before proceeding.

  6. Using a toothpick, make 30 small holes in the dough. Spray the dough with non-stick spray.

  7. Line the dough with a round piece of parchment paper and press it very neatly into the dough. Fill the pie pan with pie weights. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Very carefully (or the dough will rip) remove the parchment and pie weights. Bake the bottom shell again, uncovered, for another 8 minutes.

  8. Remove from oven and fill with 3 cups of Apple Filling. Top the pie with the second round of dough and press into the edges of the bottom crust, sealing the pie completely.

  9. Whisk one egg in a small bowl. With a pastry brush, coat the top crust with an even layer of egg. Make 4 slashes that are 1 1/2 “ long in the center of the top crust and sprinkle the crust with 2 Tbsp of Raw Sugar.

  10. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until the pie is golden brown all the way around. Rotate the pan 180° halfway through baking.