Makes 1-9” pie
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
20 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and re-chilled (preferably a European-style butter for higher fat content)
3 to 7 tablespoons ice cold vodka (the alcohol evaporates - makes a flakier crust)
¼ cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large, tart and firm apples (Granny Smiths, Macouns and Cortlands are all good)
½ cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 egg beaten for glaze
1. In a food processor, briefly pulse together the flour, cornstarch and salt.
2. Add butter and the cheese. Pulse until mixture forms chickpea-size pieces (3 to 5 one-second pulses).
3. Add vodka 1 tablespoon at a time, the fewer tablespoons the better. Pulse after adding each tablespoon until mixture is just moist enough to hold together.
4. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Form dough into flattened disks, as wide as you quickly can.
5. Wrap in plastic or place in a re-sealable plastic bag. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling out and baking.
1. Preheat oven to 425◦.
2. On a clean lightly floured surface rollout one of the dough disks into a circle approximately 11 inches in diameter and ⅛ to ¼ inch thick.
3. Rolling the rolled out dough over your rolling pin, drape it over and into a 9 inch pie plate. Trim the overhang to about 1 inch.
4. Refrigerate the crust until ready to bake
5. Place the brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl and whisk the ingredients together.
6. Add the apples and toss them gently until they are well coated with the sugar mixture.
7. Pour the apple mixture into the prepared pie crust. Brush the edges with the beaten egg. Set aside.
8. Roll out the second dough disk to the same proportions. Drape it over your rolling pin and place it over the filled pie.
9. Trim the edges of the pie crust. Crimp and roll the pie crusts together over the edge of the pie plate into a decorative pattern, sealing the filling within.
10 Brush the entire top crust with the remaining egg wash.
11. Place the pie plate on a baking dish and put both into the heated oven. Bake for 10 minutes; rotate the pie plate 180◦ in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
12. Remove the pie from the oven. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top and return to the oven for another 10 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is completely melted.
13. Remove the pie from the oven and onto a wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour before serving.