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Stockinghall Cheddar Apple Hand Pies​

While it may seem strange, the pairing of apple pie and cheddar goes back centuries. And once you taste it, it makes perfect sense: the sugar and spice of pie play perfectly with savory cheddar. We make this tradition our own by making individual hand pies (so everyone can get their own!) and by using Murray's Cave Aged Original Stockinghall as our cheddar—a clothbound beauty that's rich, fruity, and meaty. We also choose to grate the cheese directly into the crust, rather than place a slice on top. Because, hey, we're cheese people, and we want that lactic complexity in every single bite.

preparation & ingredients

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 ½ cups shredded Murray’s Cave Aged Original Stockinghall Cheddar

6 oz. cold butter (12 Tbsp.)​

¼ cup ice water (plus more as needed)​

2 lb. Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced

¼ cup sugar

½ cup dark brown sugar

1 ½ Tbsp. lemon zest (from about 1 ½ lemons)

3 Tbsp. lemon juice (from about 1 ½ lemons)

Zest of 1 orange

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¾ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

⅛ tsp. ground allspice

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 Tbsp. Demerara sugar

2 egg yolks

1 ½ Tbsp. water

For the dough, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the shredded Stockinghall. With gloved hands, use a cheese grater to grate the butter into the flour mixture as quickly as possible. The gloves are for protecting the butter from the heat of your hands, as cold butter is the key to flaky crust.​
With a rubber spatula, stir the grated cheese and butter quickly to distribute evenly throughout the flour mixture. Add the ice water gradually while continuing to stir with the rubber spatula. Use a gloved hand to bring the dough together just enough so that it can be rolled out later. The dough shouldn’t be crumbly; if it is, gradually add a tablespoon of cold water at a time until the dough comes together. Portion the dough into two small disks, then wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.​
While the dough is chilling, add the sliced apples to a large mixing bowl with the lemon juice, orange and lemon zests, spices, salt, and sugars, and mix until all apples are coated.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a sheet tray and place in the fridge. Whisk together the 2 egg yolks with 1 ½ tablespoons of water to create an egg wash, and set aside.
Remove half of the chilled dough from the fridge, and lightly flour a clean surface. Roll the dough out to about 1⁄6-inch thick, moving to make sure it's not sticking.
Use a large glass or a round cookie cutter, about 4 inches in diameter, to punch out a top and bottom for the first hand pie. Add apples to the center of the bottom crust, creating an even layer about 1 inch high, and leaving a border. Brush the outside edge of the circle with the egg wash. If needed, roll out your top dough to be slightly larger than the bottom, then place over the apples and seal the edges together with the tines of a fork. Brush the top with egg wash, and sprinkle with about ¾ teaspoon of Demerara sugar. With a knife, make 3-4 small slits (about ¼ inch long) on the top of the pie. Add to the greased tray that's chilling in the refrigerator.​
Repeat the process until you have created and chilled all 8 hand pies. When the last hand pie has chilled in the refrigerator for at least 5 minutes, bake for about 40-45 minutes or until deep golden brown.
Allow to cool slightly, then enjoy these warm, individual fall dessert treats!

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