Monday, 11 November 2013

Applewood Recipe Challenge

I love smoked cheese.  It is one of those foods that always reminds me of Christmas because, as a child, there would always be a smoked cheese on our festive cheeseboard for Christmas tea.  It was always my favourite!  Thankfully, I don't have to wait until Christmas to enjoy smoked cheese nowadays.  It is a regular purchase and a cheese that the whole family enjoy.

Applewood is a smoke flavoured British cheese hailing from Ilchester, Somerset and is a best seller boasting 80% of the smoked cheese market. It was first created in 1965 and its unique smoky flavour, smooth and creamy texture and finishing flourish of sprinkled paprika, sets this hand-turned farmhouse Cheddar apart from other cheeses.  Applewood also have a new spreadable cheese that can be heated and made into a smoky cheese sauce, making it a very versatile product.

I have been challenged to come up with some recipes using Applewood Smoked Cheese, and was sent a hamper to help inspire me in the kitchen!  

Applewood Hamper

As vegetarians, we were not able to use the spreadable Applewood cheese, so we incorporated the Applewood block cheese into our recipes instead.

My first recipe is a delicious pasta dish with a smoky cheese sauce, topped with delicious and colourful roasted vegetables, walnuts and torn basil.  It's a great way for the kids to eat an array of new vegetables.

Spaghetti with Roasted Vegetables, Walnuts and Applewood  Smoked Cheese Sauce

Spaghetti with Roasted Vegetables and Applewood Cheese

Ingredients for the Roasted Vegetables

1 leek
1 onion
6 cloves garlic
2 parsnips
1/2 culinary pumpkin
1/2 aubergine
1 courgette
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
olive oil
ground pepper

Roast Vegetables

Other Ingredients

handful walnuts
1 bag fresh spaghetti
1 bag fresh popped peas
1 handful fresh basil

1 pint of milk
30g plain flour
50 g butter
125g of Applewood Cheddar grated
(or you could use a tub of Applewood Spreadable - heated in the microwave to make a sauce)


Prepare the vegetables by cutting into bite size chunks and lay onto baking trays with whole garlic cloves.
Drizzle with olive oil and grind over black pepper.
Bake in an oven at 180 degrees for about 25 minutes until roasted.
Meanwhile make the Applewood sauce by whisking together the milk, flour and butter over a medium heat until a thin, smooth sauce is made.  Stir in the cheese until melted through.
Throw over a handful of walnuts and carefully squeeze the roasted garlic from the cloves over the vegetables.
Return to oven for a further 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil the fresh spaghetti according to instructions.
Throw in a bag of fresh podded peas for the last 5 minutes.
Strain and pour over Applewood sauce and toss well.
Serve the spaghetti in a serving bowl topped with the roasted vegetables, walnuts and some torn basil leaves.

Spaghetti with roasted vegetables

This pie dish is so quick and easy to do (especially if you use a ready rolled puff pastry sheet).  The vegetables take on the creaminess and smoky flavour of the Applewood cheese, making a perfect autumnal pie for the whole family to enjoy.  The open top lets the delicious filling with the golden, brown melted cheese  topping show through, to tantalise the taste buds!

Smoky Applewood and Vegetable Open Topped Pie

Smoky Applewood and Vegetable Open Topped Pie


1 Yellow pepper sliced
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
150g fresh baby sweetcorn halved
5 bricks of frozen chopped spinach - defrosted
100 g sliced button mushrooms
1 leek sliced

olive oil for frying

100g Applewood Cheese grated
150g of value cream cheese
(or use a tub of Applewood Spreadable stirred through the veg)

Ground pepper.
1 pack puff pastry
Grated Applewood for topping
milk to glaze

Smoky Applewood and Vegetable Open Topped Pie


In a frying pan, fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Add sliced sweetcorn, pepper, leek, spinach and mushrooms and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until well cooked with any liquid evaporated away.
Stir through the cream cheese and grated Applewood and season.
Roll the puff pastry into a large rectangle and put onto a baking sheet.
Put the filling into the middle of the pastry.
Fold over the edges, pinching to seal.
Glaze with a little milk.
Top the filling with grated Applewood cheese.
Cook in a pre-heated oven at GM6 for 25 minutes until puffed up and golden brown.

Smoky Applewood and Vegetable Open Topped Pie

The Applewood cheese makes a perfect ingredient in many dishes, adding a delicious smokiness to dishes.  The Applewood Spreadable is a very convenient product as it can be microwaved to make a sauce, stirred through hot pasta or mash or used as a dip or spread.  If, like me, you can't eat the spreadable version, the block cheese can be added to a roux sauce or mixed with cream or cream cheese and heated, to make a smoky sauce to bind vegetables, pour over pasta or other foods.

You find find out more about Applewood Cheese at


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