This post is a paid collaboration with Emmi USA. We’ve teamed up to bring you an incredible homemade apple pie recipe with a cheesy gruyère crust. It’s a subtle twist on a traditional dessert that adds depth and flavor balance while also remaining loyal to the tastes and textures you’d expect in a classic apple pie.
Apple pie is a holiday classic, and I’ve been wanting to create my own version for ages. When Emmi USA and I decided to collaborate on a Thanksgiving recipe highlighting their amazing Le Gruyère AOP, I immediately knew it would be perfect in the crust. The slightly sweet, salty and nutty flavors of gruyère add a subtle savoriness to balance the flavors of the apple filling
The high oven temperature causes the cheese to caramelize while baking, and the crust develops a deep, golden brown color that at first glance almost appears over-baked. It’s not. That’s caramelization! It adds so much flavor to the dough, making it reminiscent of a slightly sweetened cheese cracker.
How to Make Pie Dough with Gruyère
I realize many people get nervous about making pie dough from scratch, but I promise it’s not difficult if you’re willing to practice a few times to get the hang of it. Once you get a feel for the dough (and specifically, the butter temperature), it becomes second nature. More on that below.
I used one of the finer setting on a box grater to grate the cheese. It doesn’t have to be the finest setting if you’re using a food processor, but you want the cheese to be fairly well incorporated with the dough. If you prepare the dough by hand, use the finest setting.
I prefer using a food processor because it’s a fast way to incorporate the cold butter. The trick is to stop mixing as soon as the cold water combines with the other ingredients.
At this point, the dough will look like it’s barely holding together. That’s ok, don’t overwork it! Turn the ingredients out into a large bowl, and finish combining by hand. It should come together after kneading a few times.
Always let the dough chill before rolling it. You want the butter to be slightly soft while rolling so the dough doesn’t crack, but not so soft that it starts melting and sticking to the counter. Take breaks as needed to rest your dough on the counter or in the refrigerator if the butter temperature needs adjusting.
Tips for Perfect Apple Pie
- To save time, I recommend using an Apple Peeler & Corer. Not only does it peel, core and slice the apples very fast, it cuts the slices thinly so they lay flat in the pie. Thick chunks of apple are more likely to create air pockets within the pie, making it seem like you have too much filling. It should all fit.
- You can make this dough one day in advance, but no more or it will start to oxidize.
- For a more pronounced gruyere flavor in the crust, you can go up to 4 ounces of cheese in the pie dough. However, I recommend sticking with 3 ounces and serving slices of pie with additional shaved or sliced cheese. You still get the gruyere flavor in the crust (mostly up front and at the end), but it’s less likely to bother apple pie traditionalists.
More Gruyere Recipes
Apple Pie with Gruyere Crust
For the crust:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces using Scoop & Sweep Method)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 ounces Emmi Le Gruyère AOP cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (4 ounces)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (2 ounces)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about 10-11 apples)
- 1 large egg white, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- 2 teaspoons raw turbinado sugar
- Shaved Emmi Le Gruyère AOP for serving
- Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add Le Gruyère AOP and pulse a few more times. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few larger pieces scattered around.
- With the machine running, pour in the ice water until just combined, then turn the machine off. The dough should look like it’s barely formed. Turn the mixture out into a large bowl and knead a few times by hand until it forms a large ball. Do not overwork.
- Divide the dough in half and press into two discs, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and cornstarch. Add the apples and toss to evenly combine.
- In a Dutch oven or large saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter, allowing it to brown slightly. Add the apple mixture, stirring to coat with the butter. Cover the pan and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring once or twice to make sure nothing is sticking. Remove the cover and continue cooking for an additional 3-5 minutes on medium or medium-high heat to slightly thicken and reduce the juices.
- Remove from heat and cool filling completely, at least 1 hour. You can speed up this process by transferring the filling to a clean bowl and placing it in the refrigerator.
- Place an oven rack on the lower third shelf and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Let one of the dough discs sit at room temperature for a few minutes to slightly soften the butter, then roll out on a lightly floured surface until it will fit in a 9x2 inch pie dish with slight overhang. (This can be done while the filling cools; place the pie dish in the refrigerator after it’s rolled out to keep the dough chilled.)
- Roll out the second section of pie dough so that it will fit over the top of the 9-inch pie dish with a slight overhang. (Again, this can be done while the filling cools. Place the rolled dough on a large cutting board and place in the refrigerator until needed).
- Once the pie filling is at room temperature or colder, add to the pie dish evenly, making sure there’s not much space in between the apples if they’re cut in larger pieces (thinner slices will lay more flat). Top with the second layer of crust, trimming away excess dough and crimping the edges together. Chill for 10 minutes.
- Place the pie on a baking sheet. Use a small knife to make 5 2-inch steam vents in the top of the dough. Lightly brush egg wash all over the top of the pie and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 35-50 minutes, until the top is a deep golden brown. Cover top with foil to keep from browning too quickly, if necessary. Because this dough includes cheese, it will develop a slightly darker color than typical pie crust.
- Cool completely before slicing. Serve with thinly shaved fresh gruyere (I used a vegetable peeler).
- Store any leftover pie, lightly covered, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.
You can make this pie dough up to 24 hours in advance, but no more or it will begin to oxidize. For a more pronounced gruyere flavor in the crust, you can go up to 4 ounces of cheese in the pie dough. However, I recommend sticking with 3 ounces and serving with slices. You still get the gruyere flavor in the crust (mostly up front and at the end), but it’s less likely to bother pie traditionalists.
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