Kentish Apple Pie

This recipe from Jenny Chandler, uses cheese in the filling to give a savoury tang and lift the sweet, spiced apples. Jenny recommends a strong cheddar, you could try Isle of Mull, or a Caerphilly. Personally we think the mushroom, lemony tang from Gorwydd Caerphilly works wonderfully. This traditional pie was apparently a favourite of Charles Dickens and serves 6. 


1 x 22cm-ish pie dish
For the crust-

  • 250g shortcrust pastry - Jenny recommends homemade but pre made works just as well.

For the filling

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 800g cooking apples 
  • 75g-100g sugar
  • Nutmeg
  • 100g hard cheese - we recommend Gorwydd Caerphilly


  • Preheat the oven to 200C. Squeeze the lemon juice into a large bowl. Peel and core the apples and then slice or chop as you like, it doesn’t need to be dainty. Roll the apple slices around in the lemon juice as you go along, to prevent them from discolouring.
  • Now layer half the apple slices into the pie dish and then sprinkle with half of the sugar and a good grating of nutmeg. I put a pie funnel into my dish at this point, it holds the pastry up and allows the steam to escape, giving better pastry every time. I also love to see a little blackbird’s head poking out of the crust.
  • Layer over the rest of the apples and the remaining sugar if your apples are very tart (they will sweeten as they bake).
  • Slice the cheese finely and cover the apples with a layer of cheese. Now roll out your pastry and cut a small cross in the middle if you have a pie funnel. Lift the pastry onto the pie using a rolling pin, don’t worry about any cracks, a few pastry leaves seem appropriate in any case, and will cover a multitude of sins.
  • Press the pastry down onto the edge of the dish and trim away any excess. Decorate with leaves if you like and brush with milk.
  • Bake for 30-40 mins until golden brown. Eat while hot (otherwise the cheese will firm up) with a good dollop of cream.