Saturday, October 24, 2009

More Apples: Apple Brandy Pies with Cheddar Crust

The fall foliage is peaking around here, and we are savoring every day of fall. A couple weeks ago we spent the day visiting our favorite cider mill (a perennial favorite and local institution in the town where I grew up), and enjoyed fresh cider and spiced donuts.

We’ve been eating a lot of apples, and I’ve also been cooking with them. It seemed like the perfect time to try a new recipe that I saw.

My friend Christina was kind enough to snail-mail me a copy of a complimentary magazine that is available at her local food store in northern California. The Raley’s Something Extra magazine has a plethora of recipes, and new ways to use different grocery items. I received it in the mail from her one Friday evening when I arrived home after work. I read through the magazine no fewer than three times before the end of the weekend. (I am very thankful that she sent a copy my way!!)

While I’ve flagged many recipes in the Holiday edition of Something Extra, I decided to add a little more apple to our autumn and start off trying their Apple Brandy Pies. I sent them with my husband to his football tailgate today, and I think they’d make a nice hors d'oeuvre or addition to a dessert tray.

Apple Brandy Pies with Cheddar Crust
* 2 tbsp. butter
* 1 large green apple, peeled, cored and chopped
* 1/4 cup apple brandy
* 2 tbsp. honey
* 1 (15-oz.) package refrigerated pie crusts
* 2/3 cup finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt butter in a medium skillet. Add apple and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir apple brandy and honey into apples and cook over medium-high heat until excess liquid has cooked off; set aside to cool.

Unroll pie crusts and sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese onto each. Press cheese into crust with a rolling pin, rolling into a 10-inch circle. Cut into circles with a 3½-inch cutter. Place equal amounts of filling in each pastry circle, then brush edges of pastry lightly with water. Fold over to enclose filling and press with the tines of a fork to seal.

Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

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