As the old saying goes, “Apple pie without the cheese, is like the kiss without a squeeze.” Apple pie with cheese on top was a big thing in the United States up until it began to fade out in the late ’70’s. These days, it’s extremely difficult to come by this treat at all, my only knowledge of it came from “Taxi Driver” when Deniro’s character orders it in a diner. Ever since I saw that movie, it became my mission to find this version of apple pie, and I finally came upon it in an unexpected place.
“Hill Country Chicken”, a fried-chicken joint near Madison Square Park, offers up much more than just deep-fried poultry. With a large selection of freshly baked pies at the front-counter, when I read “Apple Cheddar” I was immediately sold.
The Apple Cheddar Pie Cup (3$3.50) measures three inches in diameter, and is overflowing with apple and cheesy goodness. You can also order a slice of a regular-sized pie, or just take the full thing home, but be prepared to spend at least $40 for a whole pie.
The apples were firm and sharp, with gobs of melted cheddar cheese peeking around the corners. Topped with a generous amount of cinnamon, I was hoping for a bigger and sharper cheddar taste with this pie, even though the cheese flavor was still very pronounced. I felt like I was a judge on Iron Chef, wishing that the secret ingredient (in this case, cheddar) was a stronger component, but the cheese is plentiful, it’s just a stronger flavor of it that would have made it more complex and interesting to my taste buds.
The crust was buttery and flaky, and I suggest you eat this pie at room temperature and not chilled like I had it. When it gets cold, the crust became extra firm, and I can imagine the flavor of it is more intense when it is soft and warm.
“Hill Country Chicken” also offers other pies, including double cherry, banana cream, bourbon pecan, creme brulee, lemon meringue, salted margarita, and the “Texas Billionaire”. Now that I have had my apple pie with cheese, I am not sure if I can ever go back to a sans-cheese one. I really enjoyed the pie and I equally look forward to returning to try many more of them in the future. Stay tuned for a review of some more tasty things from “Hill Country Chicken” coming up!
“Hill Country Chicken” is located on 1123 Broadway on the corner of 25th street, New York, NY 10010.