Since I grew up in New England, one of my favorite parts of fall is going apple picking. Apples right off the tree exist in a different dimension than those that’ve been shipped across the country (or farther) to sit on grocery store shelves. So I always haul back a zillion apples and cook up as many kinds of apple-based foods as I can while the season lasts. If you’re looking for a new twist on apple pie, I highly recommend this rustic apple cheddar galette.

My grandfather was apparently pretty awesome in his youth. Growing up in Kansas during the Depression, he left home young, hopped trains around the country, drank a lot of beer, and drove truck. He used to build toys for the neighborhood kids from scratch, and totally believed in trash-picking. Something tells me that if he were still alive today, he would approve of certain aspects of my lifestyle, or at very least think they were funny.

Though he died when I was very young, my grandfather introduced me to two important culinary lessons that have stuck with me ever since. The first was that just because you’re old and you eat shredded wheat for breakfast every morning doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious: just add a couple of spoonfuls of sugar and you’re good to go. The second was that apples are best enjoyed sliced with a piece of sharp cheddar cheese.

Though I never cared that much about cheese before I went vegan eight years ago, this flavor combination makes me sentimental and was definitely something I’d missed. My solution was to create this rich, sweet and savory, free-form tart which combines slices of tart apples and cheddar baked right into the crust. And if you want something even more savory, veggie sausage crumbles or vegan bacon added to the filling would undoubtedly pair nicely with these flavors.


Apple Cheddar Galette
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Cook time: 
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  • 4 oz vegan cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1¼ c flour
  • ⅓ c vegan margarine
  • 1 tbsp chilled shortening
  • 3-4 tbsp ice water
  • 4 c tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (or ¼ tsp dry)
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg
  1. Cut margarine and shortening into flour.
  2. Add cheese and continue to cut in until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time, using just enough so that dough can be gathered together in a ball.
  4. Flatten slightly into a disc, wrap in plastic, and put in freezer to chill at least an hour.
  5. In a bowl, toss apple slices with agave, lemon, nutmeg, and thyme ’til coated.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°.
  7. Between two pieces of wax paper, roll dough ¼” thick.
  8. Remove paper and transfer to a cookie sheet.
  9. Fill with apple slices, stopping 2″ from edge.
  10. Fold edges of dough up over the filling.
  11. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until crust has browned and apples are tender.
I used Vegan Gourmet cheddar, which I fawn over relentlessly, as I find it to be the sharpest of the store-bought vegan cheddars I’ve tried. If you know of a sharper kind, I’d love to hear about it! If you don’t have agave nectar, I’m sure granulated sugar would substitute just fine. It might seem like you're using a lot of apples, but don't hesitate to pack them all in! They cook down a lot.