Another make-up post, squeaking in just under the wire (1 more hour until the end of MoFo on the west coast!). This was supposed to be from last week, but life and party prep got all lifey and stressful and we just didn’t get it done. I thought it’d make a nice Halloween dessert, so I made it today!
Dessert during Cheese Week is a little bit of a challenge, especially if you don’t want to make a cheesecake or something else with cream cheese. I started thinking about that beloved-by-many, baffling-to-just-as-many combination of cheddar cheese and apple pie, but I knew I didn’t want to make a pie or even just another galette. I did some talking to the internet and I came across a recipe that I immediately knew I wanted to veganize.
I replaced the butter with Miyoko’s butter – in both the pie crust and the apple topping. I had planned to use Parmela’s cheddar shreds for the crust, but we tried Violife’s new Mediterranean (read: halloumi) cheese in another dish last night and it is amazingly sharp and cheesy, so I used that… and threw in a couple of tablespoons of Violife parmesan (and some noochy popcorn salt), too, for salty good measure.
Instead of baking the crust in a sheet and then breaking it into shards, I rolled it out and used holiday-appropriate cookie cutters to cut out shapes (ghost, apple, tombstone, witch, pumpkin, bone, skull & crossbones) and then baked them until crispy. They are ridiculously good. I’ll definitely be using that vegan halloumi to make some cheesy snacking crackers in the future – I damn near wanted to eat them all before the sundaes were ready!
Instead of frozen yogurt, we got So Delicious’s cashew ice cream, the straight-up vanilla flavor. And because there’s only two of us, we only got one pint.
I substituted vanilla bean sea salt from Portland’s Jacobsen Salt Co. for the kosher salt, but otherwise proceeded with the recipe as written! (If you’d like me to do a write-up of the recipe as I adapted it, I’m happy to – just ask!)
Now, the presentation definitely doesn’t do this dessert justice, nor is it showstopper-quality in appearance. But sometimes the tastes and flavors alone can elevate a dessert to showstopper status, and that is absolutely the case here. This dessert is sophisticated, thoughtfully flavored, unexpected, and wonderful.
The apples are tart and just soft enough; the sauce is buttery, sweet, and warmly spiced; the ice cream is rich, creamy, and surprising, with the apple puree running throughout; and the cheesy pie crust cookies are crisp, flaky, sharp, salty, and providing a wonderful umami flavor that plays off the ice cream and topping beautifully. It’s an exquisite dessert.
Paul Hollywood would definitely ding me for presentation, but I think Mary Berry would adore this dessert… and she’s my favorite anyway.
And that’s my final MoFo post, friends. It’s the first time we’ve made it all the way through and I’m quite proud! We’re hoping to keep up with our blog now that MoFo is over, though not quite at this pace! Thanks for reading, and commenting, and being a part of this lovely month of food.
‘Til next time, friends.