1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray.
2. Peel, core, and coarsely chop apples; there should be about 6 cups. Put apples in prepared pan. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the sugar, then drizzle with lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla. Stir together and spread evenly.
3. In a small bowl, stir buttermilk and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla together and set aside.
4. Sift flour, remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Stir in lemon zest. Add butter. Using an electric mixer on low speed, a pastry blender, or your fingertips, mix until coarse crumbs form, about the size of peas. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese. Stir in buttermilk mixture to form a soft, sticky dough.
5. Use a large spoon to drop spoonfuls of dough over the apples, spacing evenly. Any topping that does not cover the apples will spread to cover it during baking. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese over the top of the dough.
6. Bake about 25 to 30 minutes, until top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the topping comes out clean. Serve warm, garnished with apple slices if desired.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, September - October 2011