Crackers: 1 cup (4 ounces) Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated 1/2 cup (2 ounces) Parmesan cheese, finely grated 3/4 cup flour 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces 2 tablespoons water, more if needed
Butter: 4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks 2 medium pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks 1 cup apple cider 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
For Crackers: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of a food processor, place all the ingredients except the butter and water. Pulse 5 times. Add the butter and pulse again until butter pieces are the size of BBs. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse just until the dough holds together. If the dough is still crumbly, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of waxed paper. Roll the dough into a log, 9 to 10 inches long, and square off the ends. Refrigerate, well wrapped, for at least 2 hours and up to two days. To make the crackers, cut the log into ¼-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet one inch apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crackers are a light golden color. Turn the crackers and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, or until they are golden around the edges. Cool on a rack. Serve at room temperature.
For Butter: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the apples, pears, cider, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon and turn the heat to high. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until there is no liquid left, about 2 ½ to 3 hours. Stir fairly vigorously to smooth out the mixture and then let it cool to room temperature. (The butter will keep, tightly covered, for two weeks in the refrigerator.) To serve, spoon butter onto crackers.
Tip: Don't have time to make this butter? Try a shortcut: Simply cream apple sauce and butter together in a mixing bowl and add cinnamon to taste.
Courtesy of Laura Werlin,Author of The All American Cheese and Wine Book
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