Grilled cheese sandwiches are not a matter to be taken lightly. Don’t believe me? Just ask Grace Gutierrez of Longmont, Colorado, who just won the 2016 Grilled Cheese Academy Recipe Showdown today.
A grilled cheese sandwich competition held by an official Grilled Cheese Academy is, in fact, a real thing, and proves to us once again why American is some kind of greatness.
The sandwich competition just finished up in Madison, Wisconsin, and Gutierrez’s intense spiced apple and churro-inspired recipe claimed the top prize–$15,000–and beat out more than 2,000 competitors. Personally, I’m offended that I was not asked to judge this competition (as a self-proclaimed grilled cheese aficionado), but I digress.
The winner? Ladies and gentleman, I present to you: The All-American.
A part-sweet, part-savory grilled cheese masterpiece that combines mascarpone and aged cheddar cheese and a homemade apple pie filling (ain’t nothin’ more American than that). It’s all wrapped up in churro-battered challah bread to boot.
And the most exciting part about this entire situation is that the recipe is available online right here. You start by creating the apple filling by simmering apple slices in lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon until they’re soft and transparent. Next, you essentially make French toast (hallelujah!) by dipping thick slices of challah bread into a churro batter made with flour, milk, sugar, vanilla, and eggs, and toasting them in a skillet until browned. Next, pipe the mascarpone cheese over half the slices and top with the apple filling and 2 slices of aged cheddar. After closing the sandwich, return it to the hot skillet to melt the cheese. Finally, coat the sandwich in a cinnamon-sugar and boom–grilled cheese glory.
And for even more award-worthy grilled cheese recipes, check out our Our Best Meltworthy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, or if we just made you crave breakfast with that French toasted sandwich action (sorry, not sorry about it), get down with one of these French Toast recipes.