Apple Pie with Carmody Crust

Folks from New England will rave about warm apple pie with a slice of Cheddar cheese, but here in western Sonoma we like our Carmody cheese mixed right into the crust. Every bite is cheese & apple paradise.

Makes one 9-inch pie, serves 8-10


2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 Tablespoons, unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
6 Tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 ½ cups Bellwether Farms Carmody, grated
8 ½ Tablespoons ice water
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon water
2 Tablespoons sugar

6 large or 8 small/medium tart apples; we like the Pink Lady variety for pies
4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ – 1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon kosher salt


Make the crust:
Combine the flour, salt and butter in a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingers or cut with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with some pea-sized pieces of butter intact.  Break the shortening into pieces and rub or cut it into the flour mixture until it is incorporated.  Add the Carmody and toss until the mixture is uniform.  Drizzle 8 Tablespoons of water into the flour mixture and mix lightly until the dough holds together when pressed.  If the dough remains crumbly, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time until it holds together.  Divide the dough into two pieces and press each piece into a ball.  Wrap the dough balls in plastic and press them into disks, smoothing any cracks with your fingers.  Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.

For the filling:
Peel, core and cut the apples into ¼ inch thick slices.  Place the apples in a large bowl and add the lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar to taste, cornstarch and kosher salt.  Stir until the apples are uniformly coated and allow the apple mixture to sit until the apples have given off their juices, about 10-15 minutes.  Strain the juices into a small saucepan and cook on medium-high heat, stirring with a whisk, until the mixture has thickened.  With a rubber spatula, scrape the thickened apple juice back into the bowl with the apple mixture and stir to combine thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water and set aside.  On a floured surface, roll one of the dough disks out to a circle about 1 inch larger than the 9-inch pie pan.  To check the size, place the pie pan upside down in the center of the dough circle; the dough should extend about an inch past the edge of the upturned pan.  Place the dough circle into the pie pan and brush the edge with the egg mixture. Reserve the egg mixture for the top of the pie.  Place the apple mixture into the pan and spread evenly.  Roll the second dough disk to the same size and place it atop the apple filling.  Press the top crust onto the bottom where it was brushed with egg to seal it.  Trim the edges of the dough if necessary with a kitchen scissors so the dough extends no more than an inch past the edge of the pan.  Roll the dough ends under to form a smooth edge, then flute the edge with your fingers or the tines of a fork, making sure the edge of the dough is supported by the pan and doesn’t go past the pan edge.  Cut 3 or 4 vent holes in the top crust with a scissors or sharp paring knife.  Bake the pie for 35 minutes on the lowest oven shelf. Remove the pie from the oven and brush the top crust all over with the egg mixture and sprinkle the crust with sugar as desired.  Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and continue baking for 15 minutes more, until the apple filling is bubbly and crust is deep golden brown.  Allow the pie to cool at least one hour before serving.

Carmody Grilled Cheese

Only the freshest Jersey milk from neighboring farms in Sonoma goes into making our Carmody cheese. You’ll taste the rich, sweetness of the cheese as it softens then melts between crispy buttered bread slices. Then watch it disappear – fast!

Makes 4 sandwiches


8 1/4-inch slices sourdough bread
2 tablespoons butter, softened
6 ounces Bellwether Farms Carmody, coarsely grated


To assemble: Butter one side of each of the bread slices. Place 4 slices of bread, buttered side down, on your work surface. Distribute the Carmody cheese over the bread slices. Place remaining bread, buttered side up, on top of the cheese.

For stovetop method: Heat a large nonstick pan over a medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Put the sandwiches into the pan, cover, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the cover and turn the sandwiches, pressing each one firmly with a spatula to flatten slightly. Cook for 1 minute or until underside is golden brown. Turn the sandwiches once more, press with the spatula again, cook for 30 seconds, and remove from the pan. Cut in half and serve immediately.