Mary Lea Williams
You MUST use high-quality, full-fat cheese with this dish. If you don't, you'll have a layer of oil on top of the whole thing. I use Cracker Barrel Extra-Sharp Cheddar. It's not cheap, but it's worth it. Quality saltines are also important, I've always used Zesta.
What really sends this over the top is an abundance of freshly ground black pepper. Don't be afraid to use a generous amount!
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- 1 to 2 pkg
- saltine crackers
- 24 oz
- extra sharp cheddar cheese, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
- 1 stick
- butter, sliced
- 2 can(s)
- evaporated milk
- whole milk
- black pepper, freshly ground
2Lightly grease bottom of deep-dish 2 ½ or 3-quart casserole. Crumble a handful of crackers and spread on bottom of dish. Make alternating layers of sliced cheese and saltines to just below top of baking dish, seasoning each layer of cheese with salt and pepper, and finishing with a layer of saltines. Set aside.
4Pour liquid mixture over cheese and crackers, making sure to coat entire top layer of crackers. Liquid should come to just below the top layer of crackers, but if it doesn’t, simply pour more whole milk into the casserole dish until you have enough. Distribute sliced butter on top of crackers, top with black pepper.
5Place casserole dish on a rimmed baking sheet (the cheese pie will puff and almost certainly make a drippy mess on the bottom of your oven if you don’t). Bake for an hour or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Crackers should be brown and crispy, but if they start to border on burning before cheese pie is done, cover loosely with foil.