Cider Pear and Apple Torte with Hickory Grove Cheese Crust

Use organic apples and pears in the varieties you can find at the farmers’ markets or grocery. I recommend that you use a variety of types of apples and pears so you have different textures and flavors. The ones I don’t recommend are Red Delicious apples and Bartlett pears.
By | September 01, 2011

Instructions

To make filling: Toss apples, pears, sugar, and hard cider together in a Dutch oven or large skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the liquid is almost evaporated and the remaining liquid is very thick. DO NOT STIR, to turn apples and pears, gently use a spatula and only turn a couple of times toward the end to be sure they are not sticking to the pan.

Remove from heat and cool completely in pan. This can be made ahead, turned into a plastic container when cool and stored for up to 24 hours before making tart.

To make crust: Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl or in the bowl of a food processor. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or short pulses until the pieces are no larger than a pea. Stir in the cheese. Add water gradually until the dough holds together when pressed with the fingers. Do not mix, a light toss of the flour is all that is needed.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a ball, handling as little as possible. Press and fold the ball of dough about 3-4 times. Divide in half and press each into a 5-inch round disk. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to 24 hours.

To assemble and bake: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1 inch larger than the tart pan. Place in pan and press along edges. Gently use a spatula to place the apple/pear mixture into the tart pan. Arrange fruit evenly in pan.

Roll the top crust to 1/2-inch larger than the tart pan. Place over apple/pear mixture and press edges of the top crust and bottom crust that extend over the edges of the tart pan. Turn the edges under so that the crust is inside the pan. Press edges together using your fingers and thumb to shape a scalloped edge if desired. Slit crust a couple of times so that steam escapes.

Place in oven on foil lined sheet pan. And immediately TURN OVEN DOWN to 375 degrees. Bake for 1 hour or until crust is lightly browned, and if needed cover the edges with foil if they are browning too rapidly. Remove to a cooling rack and cook 2 hours before serving. Best at room temperature. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Ingredients

pie filling
  • 1 ½ pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced to ¼ inch
  • 1 ½ pounds pears, peeled, cored and sliced to ¼ inch
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, optional
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup local hard cider, any flavor
Crust
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (we used locally made Southern Biscuit®)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) cold local butter
  • 2 ½ cups (about 6 ounces) shredded Chapel Hill Creamery®
  • Hickory Grove Cheese
  • 4-6 tablespoons ice cold water
  • 11 to 12-inch tart pan
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