This Cheddar Pie Dough is a versatile dough that can lean sweet or savory. It starts with an all butter base but gets an additional flavor boost with sharp cheddar cheese mixed right into the crust. It's a great go-to for pies, hand pies and galettes.
The best homemade pies begin with a solid basic pie dough recipe. This Cheddar Pie Dough is the base dough for my most treasured recipe, my legendary Apple Cheddar Pie. The dough is also used in the apple pie's laidback cousin, my Apple Cheddar Galette. It even makes and appearance in these Apple Cheddar Hand Pies.
The inspiration for this recipe was a gift from my Great Grandmother.
I have been using this recipe in my Apple Cheddar Pie for over 20 years. In fact, I first made pie dough with cheese just after graduating high school. My Great Grandmother gifted me the Good Housekeeping Best Recipes 1998 cookbook as a Christmas gift and that is where I initially discovered the toasty golden magic that is Apple Cheddar Pie. I haven't gone back since.
An apple pie without cheese, is like kiss without a squeeze.
Have you heard this before? I am not sure of the origins of the apple pie and cheese marriage but I know it's a time honored tradition for many. And a just plain weird idea to some. Nevertheless, It's an old adage that I stand by wholeheartedly. In fact, I believe if you give this Cheddar Pie Dough a chance, you'll soon find yourself singing the praises of this possibly strange albeit delicious combo!
Cheddar pie dough ingredients
At the core, it's simple really. It begins with my All Butter Vodka Pie Dough, scales back the hydration, sugar and salt. Then adds in a hefty cup of sharp cheddar cheese. Such simple changes create a big, flavorful impact.
- Unsalted Butter, preferably something with a higher fat ratio like a European style butter. More fat, means better flavor and better structure when baking.
- All Purpose Flour is the binder that provides structure and holds all of the ingredients together. Nothing fancy, just the basic APF here.
- Granulated Sugar adds a kiss of sweetness. It helps balance out the savory notes from the cheese and butter. This recipe uses just a tablespoon of sugar but it sure rounds things out nicely.
- Fine Sea Salt enhances the other flavors. But here we use just a bit since the cheddar cheese also adds a salty element.
- Ice cold vodka is a secret weapon for crisp and flaky pie dough. Vodka evaporates faster than water during the baking process. This removes moisture from the dough quickly creating flakiness in the crust.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese is what sets this recipe apart. That sharp, nutty cheddar brings a layer of full cheesy flavor to the basic pie dough. I prefer to use white cheddar here so the color just blends in with the dough. But really any cheddar will do!
*Hot Tip, you can even sub cheddar for another cheese. Pecorino or parmesan are deliciously delicate options. Gruyere is great too!
When it comes to cheese in pie dough, I have done it all! Try my rich and tender Cream Cheese Pie Dough recipe. Pecorino cheese peppers the crust in this salivatingly savory BLT Galette with Pecorino Pepper Crust. Crust or my Gruyere encrusted French Onion Galette. This gorgeous Apple Pear Gruyere Pie features nutty Gruyere baked right in the crust. You can blend just about any cheese in with pie dough and it bakes up to a creaveable crisp crust.
This pie dough is made with nutty, sharp cheddar
While the ingredients are simple, they each have an important impact on the flavor and texture of the pie dough. Cold, cubed butter will create little flavor and texture pockets giving the pie crust its signature flaky texture. The sharp cheddar cheese also crisps up as the dough bakes, offering even more crisp flakiness. As the crust bakes, the cheddar and butter join forces, giving off warm flavor depth. It compliments an apple or pear pie filling like a dream.
When enjoying a pie or galette made with this cheddar pie crust, I get a hint of Cheez-It. But in the best possible way. There is something so familiar and comforting about that baked cheddar flavor. That nutty sharpness intensifies when baked and transforms into a whole new flavor all its own.
Go sweet or savory
Since it can sway either savory or sweet, this multifaceted dough can chameleon itself into all kinds of recipes. We all know by now that I am a great big fan of apples and cheddar paired in a pie crust. However, there are endless ways to incorporate this Cheddar Pie Dough.
Use it as a savory crust for pot pies. It works wonders as a hand pie base. In the past I've used it to form savory pie pockets with leftover carnitas. My Apple Cheddar Galette is a simple way to test out this dough. But, I push it to ultra savory levels by adding in some spicy black pepper in this Heirloom Tomato & Grilled Corn Galettes with Cheddar Crust! Yes drooling is a common side effect of viewing that recipe.
How to mix cheddar pie dough
Hydration squeeze test
Blending in the sharp cheddar cheese
Gather and pat to shape the pie dough into disks
The cheddar in the dough makes it extra pliable. Which means it's a great option for shaping all kinds of recipes. It rolls out smooth and even. Plus, it slices well with a sharp edge making this Cheddar Pie Dough a solid candidate for a weaved, decorative pie crust. Or simply roll it into a round and top it for galette recipes.
Any recipe that starts with this tender, flaky and crispy cheese laden crust is sure to be a hit. This cheesy crust hits on all of those sweet and savory, crisp and crumbly desires. It's like a kiss and a squeeze all wrapped up together.
However you decide to incorporate this delicious cheesy pie dough, it will not disappoint. Wherever this dough goes, it brings a deeply delicious crusty finish along with it!Print