Baked Apples and Cheese – Out of My Comfort Zone Cooking #2

Posted on May 6, 2008 
Filed Under Out of My Comfort Zone

Quote from my last Out of My Comfort Zone post:
“Up next week on Out of My Comfort Zone cooking… Baked Apples and Cheese. Yes, they are mixed together in the same dish, and yes, that would be cheddar cheese, not cream cheese. No, I didn’t make it yet. But I’m looking forward to it.”

Well, here it is, in all its syrup-y goodness:
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I was expecting rave reviews, but well, um, didn’t get any. Not even from myself. It was good, but not exceptional. While I was eating my portion, I kept thinking I should try it sometime without the cheese… the rest of it was so scrumptious and that toasted pecan streusel topping on it was to die for, I could’ve eaten that stuff plain! You know, skim along the top with my spoon when nobody was looking.

I took it to a family supper and asked for feedback on it. The feedback was that the cheese was too chewy and that apples don’t go with cheese. They said it was good though, just not ‘make again’ quality. My MIL liked it the best, although what she raved about mostly was the toasted pecans. They really were good, but then most things are good if they’re tossed with melted butter and toasted in the oven!

So, here’s the recipe and then we’ll talk about cheese problems at the end. This recipe is taken from the Famous Daves Backroads and Sidestreets cookbook. That in itself is another reason I thought this recipe would be a keeper… that cookbook is loaded with keepers!

Baked Apples and Cheese

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. butter
4 cups sliced peeled Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in apples. Mix flour and Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Add sharp Cheddar cheese, tossing to coat.
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Add to apple mixture and mix well. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spoon the apple mixture into a buttered 9×13″ baking dish.
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Bake for 20 minutes.
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Lightly stir.
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Sprinkle with Pecan Streusel Topping.
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Bake 10 minutes more. Yield: 5 – 6 servings.

Pecan Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. melted unsalted butter
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Toss the pecans with 1 tsp. butter in a bowl.
apples-cheese3.jpg  Spread in a round baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 13 minutes or until lightly toasted, then cool.
Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a food processor container. Pulse in short bursts to mix. Add 1/2 cup butter. Pulse in short bursts until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs the size of peas. Stir in the pecans. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 cups.
apples-cheese7.jpg This topping can be used for other stuff too… layered in the middle of coffee cakes or topping for crisps and cobblers.

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Now, about the cheese… the problem was that you’d hit a patch of chewy cheese, which is a good thing on a pizza or in a grilled cheese sandwich, but it tasted a little weird surrounded by sweetness.
Here are my ideas:
—maybe shredded cheese or smaller chunks would work better
—maybe a more ‘melty’ cheese, like American, would blend in better
—maybe I should’ve served it piping hot
—maybe this recipe would be THE best apple crisp recipe after omitting the cheese completely

I want to try this on my mom sometime and see what she thinks. She loves ‘out of her comfort zone’ stuff and trying new things. I could make half a pan with no cheese and the other half with cheese, using some modification ideas that I had… or modification ideas that you might have.

Not sure what next week’s “Out of My Comfort Zone’ food will be. I haven’t had any inspirations yet.

Comments

9 Responses to “Baked Apples and Cheese – Out of My Comfort Zone Cooking #2”

  1. amy on May 7th, 2008 4:26 am

    I agree with family. Cheese and apples don’t belong.:) My mom likes a chunk of cheese and a raw apple together…but baked… The recipe sounds like it would be scrumptious-minus cheese:) especially the topping. Your family must love the good food you so faithfully make.

  2. Freida on May 7th, 2008 6:17 am

    You were brave to take it to a family supper. I would not have had the nerve. I can not seem to put the taste of apples and cheese together. :/

  3. Ali on May 7th, 2008 7:03 am

    Good for you for being brave!

    Cheddar and apples are a classic combo — but I think the cheese is traditionally baked into the crust of an apple pie. So it doesn’t get chewy or anything, it just gives a nice flavor.

    If you love streusel toppings, I have a recipe you might like for sweet potatoes w/ pecan streusel.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/somethingsoclever/306707763/in/set-996499/

  4. Ruthie on May 7th, 2008 7:05 am

    Sorry, I agree with the other comments. I just can’t wrap my mind around the melted sharp cheddar with cooked apples! The pecans sound yummy!

  5. Jo on May 7th, 2008 2:35 pm

    I wonder if shredded cheese wouldn’t work better…and maybe putting it (in a lesser amount) in the topping instead of baking it right w/ the apples? I dunno…just what I was thinking. The apple pie we baked in home ec years ago had shredded cheddar cheese in the crust, and it was delish.
    I think you’re brave, too! At least it wasn’t terrible…just…weird. :)

  6. Twila on May 8th, 2008 1:16 pm

    I think maybe shredded cheese, and not sharp, but mild. I think apples and cheese can go together if done right. Do you know what snitz pies are? Like turnovers with dried apple fillin. Well anyway, I think those are good eaten with a piece of cheese. haven’t had any for a while, so I don’t remember what kind of cheese is best with them!

  7. lisa on May 8th, 2008 1:35 pm

    i love sliced apples and cheese together, but haven’t ever tried them baked together.

    do you have a good spaghetti recipe? i just use sauce from the store, cook some noodles, brown some burger, stir it all together…marc loves spaghetti, so i’d love to learn to make it better than boring.

  8. Kay on May 8th, 2008 9:04 pm

    Lisa, I don’t have a good speghetti recipe… I buy Ragu pasta sauce (the kind that says ‘Mushroom’ on it), and use bought frozen meatballs and serve that over speghetti. I usually sprinkle some Italian seasoning into the sauce too. We really like it, but yeah, mine could definitely be improved on too! My favorite thing when we have it is Lexi calling it ‘skabetti’. :)

  9. Ali on May 9th, 2008 8:21 pm

    Sorry if I’m butting in, but I have a tip for Lisa.

    Adding half ground beef and half italian sausage (hot, sweet or regular, but i love sweet) makes a big difference. :)

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