Autumn’s Bounty | Zehnder's of Frankenmuth

Autumn’s Bounty

By Chef John Zehnder, CEC, ACE, HGT, AAC

Pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn have replaced summer vegetables at roadside stands. Crimson maples and golden birches already dot the northern lakeshore. It’s fall in Michigan and from a culinary perspective, it’s all about apples. When I was growing up, there was an old saying; “apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze”.

Nowadays, it’s a rare occasion to see anyone still serving that time-honored combo of cheddar cheese and apple pie. When or why things changed, I don’t know. The tastes really do compliment one another well. If you’ve read any of my articles in the past months of Zehnder’s News, you already know that I have a passion for heirloom recipes – every one over 100 years old.

Here’s the one that I’ve updated to modern tastes, BUT which uses that traditional pairing of cheddar cheese and apples to create a unique and delicious taste your friends and family will rave about.

Cheddar Apple Cobbler:
Serves 8 Adults

Topping:
6 oz. Grated Natural Cheddar (Sharp is best)
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Firm Pack Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter

Filling:
3 lbs. Hard Apples (Granny Smith or Northern Spy)
1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/2 cup Firm Pack Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Method:
1. Butter a 2 quart baking dish and set aside. Beat together the grated cheese and butter. Blend in the flour and sugar with a rubber spatula. Set aside.

2. Wash, peel and core apples. Slice into 1/2″ thick slices. Toss the slices in the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg mixture.

3. Put the sugared apple slices in the bottom of the buttered baking dish and spread out evenly. Spread the topping across the entire surface of the apples using your fingers and a spatula to produce a smooth and even layer.

4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes. The apples will be tender and the crust golden brown when done.

5. Slightly cool and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.