Apple Mac and Cheese

This is one that I showed the recipe to a few people before trying it, and they had doubts. I was always confident it was going to be delicious, though, and even the doubters ended up going back for seconds and thirds.

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I actually sort of combined two food network mac and cheese recipes, this one for apple-sausage mac and cheese, and one that used Cheez-Its on top. I couldn’t believe I’d never thought of that!

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
  • kosher salt
  • 1 pound medium pasta shells
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 6 ounces chicken-apple sausage, sliced in half, lengthwise, then into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups apple juice
  • 1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded (4 cups)
  • 3/4 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • approximately half a box of Cheez-Its, crushed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9X13″ dish. Cook the pasta until al dente, or according to the package directions. Drain, return to the pot, and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about three minutes.  Add the sausage, mustard powder cayenne, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is golden, about three minutes.

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Add the flour and cook, continuing to stir, until the flour is lightly toasted, another two minutes. Add the apple juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, another eight or so minutes.

IMG_4210Add 3/4 of each of your cheeses to the mixture and stir gently until smooth, about two minutes.

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Pour the cheese mixture and the sour cream in with the cooked pasta and stir until well combined.

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Pour carefully into the buttered dish, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with the crushed Cheez-Its and bake until bubbly, 25-30 minutes.

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I really like the apple/cheese flavor combination, as we’ve seen before. It works great here as well, despite other people not trusting apple juice as a base for a cheese sauce. I didn’t think the sausage made a huge difference one way or another, so if you can’t find it at the supermarket don’t despair.

IMG_4218

Refrigerated leftovers hold their shape oh so much better!

Yum, I’m glad there’s leftovers of this for tonight!

Apple Mac and Cheese

Adapted from Food Network.

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
  • kosher salt
  • 1 pound medium pasta shells
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 6 ounces chicken-apple sausage, sliced in half, lengthwise, then into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups apple juice
  • 1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded (4 cups)
  • 3/4 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • approximately half a box of Cheez-Its, crushed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9X13″ dish. Cook the pasta until al dente, or according to the package directions. Drain, return to the pot, and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about three minutes.  Add the sausage, mustard powder cayenne, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is golden, about three minutes. Add the flour and cook until the flour is lightly toasted, another two minutes. Add the apple juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, another eight or so minutes.  Add 3/4 of each of your cheeses to the mixture and stir gently until smooth, about two minutes.

Pour the cheese mixture and the sour cream in with the cooked pasta and stir until well combined. Pour carefully into the buttered dish, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with the crushed Cheez-Its and bake until bubbly, 25-30 minutes.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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