Melted Dubliner cheese, tart apples, sweet apple butter, and cinnamon bread combine to make this amazing, award-winning Irish Apple Pie Twice-Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
What's the Story Behind this Recipe?
Ahem...You may now and forevermore refer to Mr. B and me as Portland's 2015 King & Queen of Grilled Cheese. In fact, we would be absolutely tickled if you did!
Franz Bakery Memories
When Mr B and I were growing up in east Portland, there were three memorable school field trips that every kid in town took: Alpenrose Dairy, the Zoo, and Franz Bakery. The first two trips required a long bus ride across the river to the West Side, but Franz Bakery was just a few miles from where I lived, down Sandy Boulevard.
The rich, mesmerizing scent of fresh Franz bread right out of the oven was as familiar to me as my mother's peanut butter cookies. I remember going to the Bakery in first grade like it was yesterday: at the end of the tour, you got an official Bakery hat (very stylish!), and a lovely, warm, child-size loaf of bread that smelled like all was good with the world.
Franz' Grilled Cheese Contest
When I decided to enter Franz’ first ever Grilled Cheese Sandwich Contest, I did it on a whim. I had no idea that it would culminate in making over a hundred sandwiches for an amazingly patient, nearly endless line of Portlanders drawn by early spring sunshine and the promise of a free lunch.
Mr. B jumped on board the second I asked him to be my sous-chef. He couldn't have been more enthusiastic or helpful, and the day would have been a complete bust without him. He chopped cheese, assembled sandwiches, and kept the flow going - even when we had ten sandwiches down, another ten stacked and ready to grill, and ten ready to plate.
Our youngest, Em, came with us for moral support, and ended up being our primary gofer, photographer and inspiration. She's pretty awesome.
And the Winner is...
When Missy Maki was getting ready to announce the winner, I put my game-face on and got totally prepared to graciously congratulate the winner, so when she called my name, it literally took me a couple of beats to realize that she meant me!
Franz awarded all the finalists with a generous swag bag full of delicious goodies, including a variety of fresh breads, bagels, and their recently repackaged frosted animal cookies. As winner, I also received a beautiful All-Clad barbecue set and a year's worth of Franz products. And a ribbon! (Which is so cool, I cannot even tell you.)
What Goes into this Recipe
For the official Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe contest, we were limited to five ingredients. Ours ingredient list came in at one under (unless you count the butter to grill it with).
Each ingredient in this sandwich was carefully chosen to complement the whole:
- Aged Irish Dubliner Cheese for its sweet undertones, slight nuttiness, and just a bit of a bite
- Apple butter for spiced apple-pie sweetness
- Granny Smith Apples for crunch and tartness
- Franz Bainbridge Island Cinnamon Swirl Bread; acting as the "crust" in this apple pie
The Dubliner also works very well when making cheese crisps, which are one of my favorite parts of this sandwich.
How to Make an Apple Pie Grilled Cheese
Assemble each sandwich in this order:
- Slice of Bread
- Slice of cheese
- Apple slices
- Slice of cheese
- Slice of bread
Dubliner cheese has a higher melt-point than many cheeses, so it is very important that you allow your sandwich to grill slowly.
Preheat an electric griddle to 275°-300°F (135°-150°C), or heat a heavy skillet over medium-low.
Brush a 50/50 mixture of light olive oil and melted butter onto the grilling surface, or generously butter the outside face of each piece of bread. (A 50/50 mixture of oil give the mixture a higher smoke point, and helps give the bread a lovely golden grilled surface.)
Place the assembled sandwich on the preheated griddle and grill for 4 minutes per side, or until it is light honey brown.
Remove sandwich from heat, and onto a plate or cutting board.
Dubliner Cheese Crisps (Tuiles)
Sprinkle grated cheese on non-stick surface and allow to cook until golden on the bottom.
Using a spatula, carefully peel the crisp cheese off the grilling surface and allow to cool.
You can shape it if you want before it cools, but if you do so, be extremely careful as the cheese will be very hot!
You can make small cheese crisps to use as garnish, or a large one to serve over the entire sandwich.
More Sandwich Recipes
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Irish Apple Pie Twice-Grilled Cheese Sandwich
For each sandwich, you will need
- 2 slices Franz Bainbridge Island Cinnamon Swirl Bread or cinnamon bread
- 2 slices Kerrygold Dubliner Aged Cheese
- ⅛ cup grated Kerrygold Dubliner Aged Cheese
- 1 tablespoon apple butter homemade or Smuckers
- 4 thin slices Granny Smith Apple
- Butter for grilling sandwich
- Assemble sandwich in this order: Slice of BreadSlice of cheeseApple-butterApple slicesSlice of cheeseSlice of bread
- Dubliner cheese has a higher melt-point than many cheeses, so it is very important that you allow your sandwich to grill slowly.
- Preheat an electric griddle to 275°-300°F (135°-150°C), or heat a heavy skillet over medium-low.Brush a 50/50 mixture of light olive oil and melted butter onto the grilling surface, or generously butter the outside face of each piece of bread.
- Place the assembled sandwich on the preheated griddle and grill for 4 minutes per side, or until it is light honey brown.Remove sandwich from heat, and onto a plate or cutting board.
Cheese Crisps (Tuiles)
- Sprinkle grated cheese on non-stick surface and allow to cook until golden on the bottom. Using a spatula, carefully peel the crisp cheese off the grilling surface and allow to cool. You can shape it if you want before it cools, but if you do so, be extremely careful as the cheese will be very hot! You can make small cheese crisps to use as garnish, or a large one to serve over the entire sandwich.
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Laura @MotherWouldKnow says
These look incredible - with the cheese crisp really taking the sandwich to a whole new level. I had a bakery that I loved growing up and so I could really identify with how much you love your Franz Bakery. So glad that you won the prize!