Making apple pie this way was a first for me. The first time I made the crust this way, the first time I put sour cream in the filling with the apples and definitely a first time using Norwegian Gjetost (pronounced “yay-toast”) cheese. It was a wonderful addition to apple pie.
Gjetost is made from a combination of both cow and goat’s milk and has a fudge-like consistency and nutty, caramel flavor. It develops its distinctive color and flavor because the milk sugars are caramelized during the cheese-making process. The cheese is slightly sweet and nutty and has a smooth texture. I used a brand called Ski Queen gjetost, that I found at my local Whole Foods, but there are other brands available, often found at Scandinavian markets. Gjetost generally comes in an 8-ounce block. It is delicious when brought to room temperature, sliced and served with flatbreads or other crackers and fruit.
The filling also calls for a little sour cream, which adds a creamy balance to the gjetost. This is a very easy pie to make; the crust is a no-roll variety and the quick streusel topping is made with crunchy flake cereal. The crust is an adaptation of a recipe called Pat-A-Pan Piecrust from the Amish Cook’s Baking Book by Lovinia Eicher with Kevin Williams.
This pie was one of my offerings at the Thanksgiving dinner at my sister-in-law’s house. It was the only homemade pie there, and it disappeared so fast I didn’t get a picture of it sliced, nor did I even get a piece to eat. My husband and the others who had some all declared it “delicious, creamy, different, but good. and other such phrases. I guess I’ll have to take their word for it. I know that it looked great and smelled fantastic while it was baking. Since I still have about half the cheese left, I will most likely make it again–this time just for us!
SOUR CREAM APPLE PIE WITH NORWEGIAN GJETOST
Yield: Makes 1 9-inch pie, 8 servings
For the Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 Tbsp. cold milk
For the filling:
- 6 cups sliced apples
- 2 Tbsp. sour cream
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom*
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 2 ounces gjetost cheese, grated**
* If you don’t keep cardamom on hand you can replace it with pumpkin pie spice or just extra cinnamon.
** If you can’t find the gjetost, omit it and replace half of the sugar in the filling ( 1/4 cup) with light brown sugar and add an extra 1/2 tablespoon flour.
For the streusel topping:
- 1/2 cup crushed cornflakes ( or other unsweetened flake cereal)
- 1/4 cu flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cardamom
- 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
Crust: Combine the flour, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil and milk until creamy and well blended. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix with a fork to form a moist dough. Place in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate and flatten with you hand. Using your fingers, gently push the crust to the edge and up the sides of the pie plate, taking care to make it as even as possible. Prick the bottom and sides with the times of a fork, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before filling and baking.
Preheat the oven to 425*F.
Filling: Blend the sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, salt and flour together in a large bowl. Add the apples and toss to coat well. Sprinkle the bottom of the pie crust with about 1/3 of the grated gjetost.
Add about 1/2 of the apple mixture and spread evenly. Top with another 1/3 of the cheese, leaving the remaining 1/3 for the last 2 minutes of baking.
Top with the remaining apples. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, shielding the edges of the crust with foil as soon as they turn golden brown.
Streusel topping: While the pie is baking, combine the crushed cornflakes, flour, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and melted butter in a small bowl. Remove the pie after the first 25 minutes and spread the topping over the top as evenly as possible.
Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the topping is bubbling and golden brown and the apples are tender. Immediately sprinkle on the remaining cheese and place the pie back in the oven for a minute or two until it melts. remove and cool on a rack to room temperature.
I baked the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and I’m glad I did as it did run over. It firmed up as it cooled and kept its shape when cut into wedges. I have got to make this again. 😀
SOURCE: My Gourmet Connection