Finally made the Detroit. I wanted to do it before the weather warms up. I bit the bullet and ordered the brick cheese from Widmar. It’s expensive and the taste is not worth the price, but this pie is a novelty and I wanted to try it. I just used a non-stick pan that is a little smaller than the one specified in the book, 9 x 13, I think, so I used a 20 oz doughball—a little less due to the smaller pan. The pan was great, especially because it’s non-stick. Clean up was breeze and everything browned up nicely.
The brick cheese tastes okay plain, and I piled up the Cabot cheddar around the edges. What seems to happen is that the fat pours out of the cheese and it winds up being a little salty on the edges and very crunchy. For some reason, I enjoyed the first pie more than the second. Maybe the novelty wears off quickly or something—I’m not sure.
I think I may have enjoyed it less because I made this second Detroit pie side-by-side with the cast iron pie, and I think the cast iron pie has more flavor because of the sausage, provolone, and that touch of corn meal. From this point forward, I’ll only use olive oil in the dough. The amounts of cheese are prohibitive, and olive oil, IMO, is tastier and healthier. The lard/shortening doesn’t seem to add anything, and to me is not worth the bad fats investment. I think the butter on the bottom of the pan, though, did add flavor and crunchiness.