Apple Pie Grilled Cheese
Apple season is not taken lightly up here in Massachusetts. In fact, it’s practically revered as a few month-long holiday during which people of all ages flock to local orchards to stock up on cratefuls of different varieties.
Although they are available at grocery stores throughout the year, I reserve apple buying & eating for the fall and therefore look forward to the local apple-growing season for months. I keep a large bowl filled with apples on the kitchen counter, and though most are eaten as is out-of-hand, I also love to cook and bake with the crisp spheres of juicy sweetness.
When it comes to lunch – my area of “expertise” on this blog – apples are frequently included as an afterthought… tossed into the lunchbox or bag as an accompaniment to a sandwich.
Well, in this recipe the apples take a starring role in the sandwich.
Sauteed with a bit of butter and maple syrup and then tossed with warm pie spices, apple slices are taken to a whole new level of deliciousness.
The sauteed apples are layered with cheddar cheese slices between two pieces of hearty bread studded with dried fruit and nuts. The assembled sandwich is cooked grilled cheese-style until the cheese is melted and the bread is crisp & golden brown.
Let’s talk about that bread for a second.
I am a big bread fan (in fact, my dad lovingly nicknamed me the “Carbo Queen” when I was a kid… which would make him the “Carbo King” b/c we are two peas in a pod when it comes to bread, oatmeal, etc.) and I firmly believe that a good loaf can really make a sandwich. At the risk of sounding like a bread snob, I don’t love those boring loaves that have been sitting on store shelves for weeks. It’s worth the price to buy a freshly baked loaf of bread from your local bakery… trust me!
Ok, now that we’ve got the bread covered, we need to discuss this whole apple pie-and-cheddar cheese combination.
When I first heard about apple pie sometimes being served with a piece of cheddar cheese melted over the top I didn’t quite believe what I was hearing. How could such a strange combination possibly taste good? Then I started to think about how fantastic simple apple slices are with pieces of shard cheddar cheese and I started to warm up to the idea.
Although I still have not yet tried apple pie with cheddar cheese, this sandwich was inspired by that pairing. The sauteed apples really do taste like the filling for an apple pie, and I hope you’ll believe me when I say that they are delectable with the melted cheddar!
Man, I’m really trying to sell this sandwich to you, aren’t I?!
In all honesty, I think the photos speak for themselves, and I hope that they’ll be incentive enough for you to try this sometime soon.