This sweet, tart, and cheesy treat will warm you from the inside out. Perfect for entertaining, enjoying with the family or cozying up with on the couch.
By Gretel-Ann Fischer
So you’re in the mood to whip up a savory and delicious treat? A dessert suitable for entertaining or nibbling on a quiet day at home – nothing too over the top. You’re not an expert chef so you need something simple, and the kids want to help!
That’s where my favorite recipe comes in – Apple Cranberry Croustade with a Sharp Cheddar Pie Crust. This joyous treat is my signature dessert and was also the very first recipe I prepared for the premiere challenge on TLC’s Next Great Baker, when Buddy Valastro (aka The Cake Boss) assigned us to make our signature dessert. He would only sample five of the 13 desserts. And, to my delight, he chose my croustade as one. In Buddy’s own words my dish was “Nice and refreshing.” Now, I’d like to share my signature dessert with you in hopes that you’ll enjoy it with me.
- 2–3 Macintosh Apples, peeled cored and sliced in large slices
- 2–3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled cored and sliced in large slices
- 1 cup Cranberries—frozen or fresh
- 2 cups Sugar
- 2 tbs Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp Clove
- ¼ tsp Allspice
- 1 tbs All Purpose Flour
- 4 cup All Purpose Flour
- 2 tbs Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1¾ cup Cabot Unsalted Butter
- 1 Egg
- 1 tbs Vinegar
- ½ cup Water
- 1 cup Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- Peel, core and cut all apples and place them in a water bath with ¼ lemon juice and set aside to prevent from browning
- Mix all dry ingredients
- Drain apples and cranberries and add to dry ingredients
- Mix well, set aside
- Mix all dry ingredients and lightly toss with your fingers
- Mix all wet ingredients
- Add shredded cheese to dry mixture and mix lightly again using just fingers
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour wet mixture into the well
- With your fingers fold dry ingredients into the wet and gently mix until well incorporated
- Mixture will be wet, this is ok
- Take a small ball about the size of a large fist and roll out to around 10 inches in diameter
- Liberally dust your work surface with flour both on the bottom and sprinkle more flour on the top
- If your rolling pin sticks to the dough sprinkle more flour on the crust
- When rolling the dough out you do not want to roll it out to thin as this pie does not go into a pie tin. It needs to be thick enough to be able to handle being lifted up and keeping its structure.
- Once you have your circle rolled out transfer the crust to a sheet tray that has been lined with parchment that has been very generously sprayed with a non stick spray like Pam
- In the center only scoop about 2–2½ cups of your filling
- Fold over the pie dough leaving a large opening at the top
- Once completely folded brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with sanding to coarse sugar. I order my sanding and coarse sugars from Global Sugar Arts in Plattsburgh. They cater to everyone from professionals to the foodie that loves all things sweet
- Bake in the oven at 350 for 30-45 minutes depending on your oven until nice golden brown
Gretel-Ann Fischer, culinary artist and owner of Cupp’s Café and Bakery in Winooski, Vermont is among 13 lucky contestants participating in TLC’s Next Great Baker.