Apple Pie

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Apple season has arrived and what better way to use apples but to bake delicious goodies!
I actually have an allergic reaction to apples in their raw form, but fortunately not when they’re cooked. So I go apple picking every year and then bake up a bunch of old and new apple recipes. Luckily, apples have a very long fridge life, so you can pick lots of apples, but not feel rushed to use them all at once.

So far this season, I’ve made two new recipes, one for apple cake and another for apple pie.
Apple pie is one of those classic desserts; although there’s so many variations on it that you can have 100 apple pies and they will all taste different.

Several years ago, I entered an Apple Custard Pie with Oatmeal Crust into an apple pie contest. It was delicious, but very different from your typical apple pie and I think it might have been a little too exotic for the judges; hence I didn’t win. But that didn’t make me stop making it in future years!

The recipe I chose this year was one I had filed in my recipe binder for quite a while, but never got around to making. It’s from a Cooking Light reader who entered an apple pie contest hosted by the magazine several years ago, where she won first prize!
I decided I’d try it out, but use a cream cheese pie crust recipe I’d also had filed for a while and wanted to try out.

The final product? Delicious! Crisp, sweet apples covered lightly in a crumble topping with a warm cinnamon flavor. The apples were slightly gooey, but without the gelatin texture that reminds me of jello in a pie that’s served in many diners.
The crust was super flavorful, having a slight tang from the cream cheese. One thing about the crust is that it calls for a 9 inch pie pan but I used a 10 inch since that’s what the filling called for. So if you don’t adjust the crust proportions like me, you might find the crust to be a bit thin and skimpy and become brown pretty fast around the edges. But I didn’t mind this because the overall pie was just that delicious! I have suggestions below for not running into this snag though. 🙂

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Apple Pie with Cream Cheese Crust

Yield: one 9 inch pie

Cream Cheese Crust:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 (4.5 oz) cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • Directions:
    • 1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl; beat well at medium speed with a mixer until smooth. Add milk and egg yolk; beat until well-blended. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to bowl, stirring until well-blended.
    • 2. Press mixture gently into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap, wrap up and chill for 15 minutes. Unwrap dough and roll to an 11-inch circle. (If dough is extremely sticky, you can roll dough before unwrapping it and stick it in the freezer for 5 minutes until wrap can be removed easily).
    • 3. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray or butter. Gently lift the rolled dough and insert into the dish. Center on dish and then press dough against bottom and sides of pan. Fold edges under and flute.
    • Adapted from Cooking Light 
    • IMG_1431
  • Picture of pie before being baking
  • Apple Filling:

Yield: Makes enough for a 10-inch pie

(since crust is only for 9 inch pan, you can either fill as much as possible and then bake the rest in an oven proof dish (it’ll be a mini crisp), or you can decrease the ingredients a bit; I’m not sure how much though)

scant 1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 TBP all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp salt

7 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (about 7 medium)

cooking spray

Topping:

6 TBP (1 3/4 oz) all-purpose flour

3 TBP brown sugar

3 TBP chilled butter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. To prepare filling: combine sugar and next 4 ingredients through the salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apple; toss well to coat. (If you are concerned about apples turning brown, squeeze some lemon juice over them). Spoon filling into pie pan with unbaked crust.

2. To make topping, combine flour and brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut in 3 TBP butter with a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingers until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle topping over the filling on pie. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees without removing pie from oven and bake an additional 30 minutes or until apples are crisp tender.

*Crust might brown quicker than pie cooks. If this happens, you can cover the pie with fin foil while it finishes baking and/or put pie on lower rack of oven.

Adapted from Cooking Light, Susan Brackett’s First Prize recipe

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