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Smoked Cheddar and apple pies

By March 05, 2021 ,

One of the items I like to cold smoke a lot is cheese, in particular cheddar. My favourite woods to smoke with for cheese are oak, alder, beech and apple. Oak tends to be on the heavier side flavour wise and apple just a little less, beech and alder tend to be subtler. For this recipe I went for apple wood as I'm pairing the cheese with elstar apple which has just the right amount of sweetness and tartness. 

For this recipe I smoked a 250g piece of cheddar for 4 hours. I then vacuum packed it and left it in the fridge to settle and for the smoke flavour to infuse for a further 5 days. If you don't have a vacuum packer, then an airtight container with a lid will suffice. If you use the cheese immediately the smoke flavour will be bitter, it needs the time to mellow.
This makes six small pies using a six hole muffin tin.   

170g plain white flour
85g unsalted butter
45ml iced water
Pinch salt
50ml milk to glaze the pastry

Rub the butter and flour together until it resembles breadcrumbs
Add the egg yolk and water and bring the mixture together until it forms a stiff dough
(This can also be made in a food processor, simply whizz the flour and butter mix until it resembles bread crumbs, then add the water and pulse until it comes together)
Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for an hour to rest
Once the pastry has rested, roll out to 5mm thick
Cut six 12cm rounds for the base and six 8cm for the top
Pre heat the oven to 190c (fan), 200c (normal)

1 elstar apple peeled, cored and sliced into 3mm thick slices
100g smoked cheddar grated

Pie assembly
Place the 12cm rounds into a six hole muffin tin and ensure the pastry is pressed well into the holes
Allow the top of the pastry to overlap over the edge of the tin
Sprinkle a little of the cheddar on the bottom of the pastry and then top with slices of the apple, finish with more cheese
Brush the edges of the pastry with some of the milk, top with the smaller round and push the top and bottom together ensuring the pastry is well sealed
Brush the top with the rest of the milk and pierce the top with a knife to allow steam to escape
Bake for 30 minutes and cool on a wire rack

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