Monday, October 6, 2008

Another Mad Invention - Apple Gjetost Pie

Now that Magnus has explained the oddity that is gjetost, let me fill you in on our pie experiment. Magnus left a phone message about this whole pie combo a few weeks ago and since then I've been waiting for a time to have a few hours to try it out. First time we were thwarted by a lack of gjetost (tragic) at the local cheese emporium, but finally Magnus could find the cheese and I had a rainy sunday afternoon it was, indeed, time for pie.

Well, I've always liked toffee and butterscotch, but have an aversion to overly sweet things...gjetost is brilliant in that it taste like toffee or some sort of caramel...minus the sweetness. It has the consistency of hard cream cheese, and is delicious in little nibbly quantities. How it melted? We had no idea...which made it more intriguing. As a kid I liked toffee apples...I just couldn't eat a whole one from all the sugar...this seemed like a perfect combination. Cheese and pie? Well, I've seen and tried the cheddar apple pie combo, and it never really was my too many pickles on a sandwich, the cheddar was overpowering and, in my opinion, detracted from a perfectly good pie...and cheese. Any cheddar apple recipes I found called for grated cheese in the crust itself or melted on the top crust, so I had to improvise...mad science indeed.
I did a bit more piesearch before starting, looking in my trusty Joy of Cooking for a good apple pie recipe (this book has *never* let me down and has tonnes of references on methods of cookery). I found a good recipe, and (as usual) cut back the sugar a bit, to let the flavour of the fruit shine through. I also decided to not make the pie deep dish, as I usually do, as I wanted the ratio of apples to gjetost to be one that would allow the flavour of both to shine through.

I used my favourite pie crust recipe (same as in the peach pie post below). I made the recipe, divided it into 4 balls, as it is for 4 pies, froze 3 of them, and rolled out the remaining ball for crust. I rolled out the bottom crust and pressed it into the pie pan. Then I got to the apple filling, a variation on the Apple Pie I recipe from Joy of Cooking:

-6 peeled thinly sliced gala apples
-1T lemon juice
-1/2 c white sugar (less than the 3/4 c called for in the original recipe)
-1/2 t cinnamon
-2 T flour

I mixed this all together and spread evenly in the crust. Apples shrink when you bake them, so I filled it 1 1/3 times full to get a decently thick pie. Then I sliced the gjetost about 1/8 inch thick and laid it evenly over the top of the so:We had a brick of gjetost about 3 inches by 2 inches by 1 inch and used 3/4 of it...the rest of it went in our bellies while we waited. Yum. Then I layered the top crust over it all, wetting and pinching the sides with a fork and cutting some slits in the top.

Then it went in a 425° oven for 30 minutes, after which I turned down the heat to 350° and baked it another 20-25 minutes until the crust was golden and the filling was starting to bubble out the crust slits.
Not to shabby eh? We were looked delicious. We managed to distract ourselves for 15 minutes to let the pie cool and sit a bit before having some...with vanilla ice cream of course.


As it turns out, gjetost and apples go brilliantly together in a pie. the caramel flavour of the cheese enhances the fruit flavour, but isn't overwhelming, and the usual sugary sweetness of caramel was absent, making for a rich creamy flavour. Decadent.
The gjetost didn't melt as much as it sort of fused to the crust and went a bit soft, like low fat cheese does when you broil it on toast. I give it two thumbs up. I will definitely make this again...and I highly recommend you give it a try, if you can hunt down some gjetost from your local exotic cheese shop.

I love being a mad scientist...:)


grapecat said...

Hmm - I've never heard of gjetost before - I'll have to look for it. Sounds yummy. I m always happy tp broaden my cheese horizons.

ummmm cheese (dribble dribble)

Magnus said...

And it were gooooood...

the Bag Lady said...

Sounds fabulous! Must hunt down some gjetost!

Crabby McSlacker said...

mmm does that look good!

I need a mad scientist like you to experiment in my kitchen!