Apples and cheddar are one of those flavor pairings that's a little unexpected, but oh-so-good.
From grilled cheese sandwiches with a spread of apple butter to apple pie with cheddar on top (a favorite, I hear, among some of my Wisconsin-bred colleagues' families), it works.
Of course, if you've never had cheddar and apples together, you are probably skeptical. I can't blame you. They sure don't sound like a match in heaven, right? Apples are sweet and cheddar is sharp. Apples are juicy and cheddar can be oily. I hear you, but I have to tell you -- put aside your preconceived notions and give this fabulous pairing a chance. It's worth it.
And if you are going to try it, try it in these Apple and Cheddar Turnovers. They are a prime example of how these two flavors can compliment each other in a really sophisticated way. The cheddar melts and becomes one with the crust, weaving it's sharp flavor throughout. When you bit in, you get that sharp, crisp crust and the sweet, soft apples inside. It's heavenly.
As far as desserts go, this one is pretty fast and simple to make. Just toss the apples with a little sugar and flour, layer the cheddar and apple mixture in 1/4 of a pie crust, fold, seal and bake (ok, there might be one or two steps more, but they are super fast too).
For the crust, I use Pillsbury Pie Crust, which is perfect right out of the fridge. The egg wash before baking and sprinkling of course sugar is an absolute must. It finishes off the whole dish beautifully.
What unusual flavor combination do you love?
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah's Cucina Bella.