I watch Food Network to wind down at the end of a stressful day.
I used to bake a lot when I was younger.
I still home-cook dinner almost every night for our family.
I have been known to have a creative-spurt going mad-scientist like in the kitchen, from time to time.
I don't really spend much time on the web following cooking...
I do make a lot of good things, including the ever-classic, grilled cheese sandwich.
Then I created a masterpiece of Fall Delights: Claus's Texas Grilled Cheese Apple-pie Sandwich.
I'm not kidding.
Lavie was eating fresh apples (she's been on an apple-eating kick lately) and Alvis was begging for a grilled cheese.
The rest...is history....
Hearty thin-sliced. I prefer Pepperidge Farm: Hearty White but you are welcome to use whatever kind you prefer and can find. Just stay away from that air-filled fluff most people think of. You want something with weight to it.
Sharp Cheddar. I like using shredded cheese but sliced is fine. Go with what your favorite is. Experiment.
Lavie's favorite is a variety called "Pink Lady." I've been partial lately to the "Winesap." Whichever kind you prefer, look for a variety with flavor and sweetness; the "Fuji" variety is in my opinion a very, very good choice for this sandwich.
Go with a quality, finely ground and fresh cinnamon--no "fake" cinnamon, please!
Yes! Just for fun, use some locally produced honey if you can find it! If that fails, just go with the classic bear!
Take your apples and peel and core them. I found that cutting them into thinner slices works best. Just watch your fingers. Leave them like thin-sliced donuts or half them. Either way, thin is good, but not deli thin!
Take your slices of bread and lightly butter both sides.
Place them over medium-high heat on a skillet or griddle, let the down-side lightly toast, then flip the slices over to brown on the other side as well. (This double-sided grilling trick was taught to be by our wonderful cafeteria lady at work. She is a true professional, and her tip makes for a crispier sandwich.)
While the other sides are grilling, pick one slice on the grill and apply a thin layer of cheese, then your sliced apples.
Next, dust lightly with cinnamon, and drizzle a very light amount of honey evenly over the apples.
Finally, top with a second thin layer of cheese.
Add the top slice of bread you have been grilling and gently compress to set the ingredients together. Press too hard and it might slide apart and will compress the bread; ick!
Carefully flip your sandwich over to continue grilling the second side.
Flip back and forth until you are satisfied with the browning on the bread.
Remove to a cutting board and let cool for just a minute before slicing. I enjoy cutting mine into finger-sized strips.
Lavie and Alvis were a bit skeptical of this at first. But soon had eaten almost an entire half of my sandwich with happy faces!
There is something wonderfully comforting in the mix of flavors: the sharp cheddar, the crisp apples, the high-points of cinnamon and the subtle sweetness of honey.
It might take a while to find your proper proportions of the ingredients...some like more spice, others more sweet. Have fun working it out.