6 Apple and Cheddar Pairings That Really Hit the Spot

By: Emily Lee

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We love newfangled food trends just as much as the next Instagram addict, but something about this cool fall weather has us craving simple, classic comfort food. Very few flavor combinations bring us back to the basics like that of sweet-tart apples and creamy cheddar cheese, a time-honored pairing that’s so simple in theory yet gastronomically complex.

Apple pie laced with sharp cheddar, smooth apple-and-cheddar bisque — there are dozens of forms that this sweet-and-savory flavor union can take. So, as we work up to another season of comfort food, here are a few of our favorite iterations of the quintessential fall combo.

Rachael Ray builds her gooey cheese melts by layering sharp cheddar and Gala apple slices between thick slabs of white bread. But first she spreads a generous dollop of sweet mango chutney across each bread slice. When you dip your sandwich into the spiced squash soup, the chutney will blend nicely with the sweet and aromatic curry in every bite.

Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm
Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks

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Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks

Photo by: Christopher Testani

Christopher Testani

In a similar vein, this smooth soup pays homage to the classic combination of apple and cheddar, with the crumbled bacon adding a nice crunch. Float a few cheese-crusted croutons in each bowl for even more texture.

Kids will adore these cheesy sandwich bites on soft, spongy slider buns. Spread the bun halves with a homemade honey-mustard dressing to amplify the apple’s sweetness, then stack them high with thick slices of ham and cheddar. It’s the perfect lunch for a casual weekend playdate.

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Photo by: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan K Liebe 2014

Ryan Liebe, Ryan K Liebe 2014

Tyler Florence ups the ante by adding crisp bacon to his grilled cheddar-and-apple sandwiches, but not before he spreads the bread with tangy Dijon mustard. The combination of these five ingredients creates a perfectly balanced bite that’s equal parts sweet, salty, spicy and savory.

It doesn’t get more American than Nancy Fuller’s classic apple pie — a heap of buttery apples encased in a flaky cheddar crust. Generally, when the apple-cheddar combination takes pie form, we’ll see a wedge of diner apple pie topped with a thick, melted slice of cheese. But, for the sake of even-flavor distribution, Nancy adds grated cheddar to her food processor when preparing the pie dough for sweet yet savory, balanced slices with a hint of sharp cheese in every bite.

Food Stylist: Cyd Raftus McDowell 
Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks ,Food Stylist: Cyd Raftus McDowell 
Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks

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Food Stylist: Cyd Raftus McDowell Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks ,Food Stylist: Cyd Raftus McDowell Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks

Photo by: Yunhee Kim

Yunhee Kim

For an elegant take on the comforting medley of apple and cheddar, try these cheesy gougeres filled with sweet and spiced apple, crisp prosciutto and sage. After they’ve been cooked with butter, honey and lemon on the stove, the diced apples take on a tender, almost chewy texture that contrasts the fried sage and prosciutto so nicely.

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