30 September 2011

Apple Strudel Cheese Pie

Dear Lissy,
Autumn has long been my favorite season.  I dive back into baking with a passion as soon as the weather turns cool.  Apple Strudel Cheese Pie is one of our family's most beloved desserts.  The bottom is a classic cheesecake, the top is an apple crumb pie.  Perfection.

Deep-Dish Apple Strudel Cheese Pie
from Among Friends:  Just a Matter of Thyme

16 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Unbaked pie shell
4-5 tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced
(toss sliced apples with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon mixed)

Blend these ingredients until coarse
5 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. sugar

Blend cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.  Pour into an unbaked pie shell.  Top with apple slices in a spiral or rose fashion, then sprinkle with topping.  Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 and bake and additional 30 minutes or until set.  Cool.  Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Mom's Notes
  • This FILLS a deep dish pie.  If you only have a standard pie plate, halve the cheese and apples.
  • A "no fail" crust made with vinegar and egg works particularly well in this dish.
  • I prefer Cortland or Northern spy apples for this dish.  If you're living outside New England, Granny Smith will suffice.
  • For a fancier presentation, make in a springform pan with the traditional graham crumbs in place of the pie shell.  Drizzle melted caramels over the top.  
  • If you're living in the South or Midwest, or if you married someone from either of those places, you'll need to drizzle the caramel or use sweeter apples for every pie.  They like their pies far sweeter than we do here in the North.

I've never done much seasonal decorating because school consumes hours of my day, but I love to incorporate seasonal flavors into my cooking and baking.  Having dishes that only appear at certain times of year is a treat for your family they will remember their whole lives.

 Love, Momma

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