At Boston’s Eastern Standard, pastry chef Lauren Kroesser is updating homey desserts for fall, offering sweets like a butterscotch bread pudding with salted caramel, or her rich pumpkin crémeaux with maple, pomegranate and goat cheese. But she is a pie lady at heart: “It’s my favorite thing by far to make and eat,” says Kroesser. “I love fruit pies and grew up making them with my mom. We would go up to Goodale Orchards in Ipswich every fall and pick apples and get doughnuts. Then we’d make crisps and pies.”
At ES, Kroesser’s currently serving individual apple pies topped with Gouda ice cream. While she didn’t grow up with the tradition, some New Englanders have been known to top their apple pie with a slice of cheddar. Kroesser went for Gouda for its intense nutty saltiness. Here, she offers more expert tips for upgrading pies at home.
1. Add flavor to the crust. For nutty, cheesy saltiness, use a Microplane to grate Gouda or aged cheddar into the dry ingredients before mixing your pie dough. You can add more grated cheese to the top crust before baking as well. This works great for apple or pear pies. If cheese feels too experimental, Kroesser suggests incorporating a sweet and spicy element to the crust via a tablespoon of finely chopped candied ginger mixed in with the flour.