This recipe was inspired by the TV series "Pushing Daisies," which chronicled the misadventures of a hapless pie-maker with a penchant for waking the dead. Early on in the first season, Charlotte "Chuck" Charles, his undead girlfriend, begins making pies to anonymously send to her cheese-loving, shut-in aunts. One of the pies mentioned is a Tart Apple Pie with Gruyère Cheese baked into the crust. This recipe endeavours to be exactly like that purportedly heavenly pie.1
1 Homeopathic mood enhancers not included.
Step 1: Gruyere Pie Crust
This is my first foray into actually making a pie crust from scratch, and it turned out to be a lot less daunted than I had initially feared.
The recipe that this is adapted from calls for 13 tbsp butter and 7 tbsp leaf lard, but I'm less than thrilled about the idea of lard, so here we use 20 tbsp of butter. Mmmm, butter. The ingredients for the crust are:
2.5 cups flour
1 tblsp sugar
1 tsp salt
20 tblsp cold, unsalted butter (in 1 tbsp pats, no sticks)
2 oz. Gruyère, grated1
6 tblsp ice water
Mix your dry ingredients (flour, salt, and sugar) well before adding your cheese. Once that is combined, toss in your butter and, using your hands (or a food processor :P), cut the butter into the flour until the largest pieces resemble something akin to corn flakes in size and shape. You don't want to combine the butter fully as these good-sized chunks will melt when you bake it and produce a ridiculously flaky and delicious crust. Sprinkle ice water, 1 tblsp at a time, over the the flour mixture, tossing with a fork between each increment. Be careful not to add too much water! When the dough comes together when squeezed in your palm, it's ready. Divide into two slightly unequal parts and store in the fridge overnight, in plastic-wrapped disc form.
1 About 60 grams