Apple Cheesecake Pie
Hi all! From deep in the bowels of Capownie headquarters I bring you this tasty standalone dessert. Ok, “bowels” probably isn’t the best metaphor to use in a food blog, but, well, the idea for this pie did originate as part of the inside of my dessert turducken (recipe hopefully coming as soon as I work out the kinks).
See, last year I made my first Capownie with very simple and maddeningly trying rules basically boiling down to it had to consist of three complete desserts (not fillings!) baked one into another. Like a regular, non-dessert, turducken. I accomplished this with my bottom layer: brownie baked into pecan pie baked into chocolate cake; but I couldn’t think of anything to put inside the top layer’s pie that would slice easily and not squish down onto the rest of the cake. Naturally, this failure haunted me.
Then, lightbulb! Genius struck in the form of grilled cheesecake sandwiches. It occurred to me that the cheesecake bars I made for the sandwiches would both slice brilliantly and pair deliciously with the apples. What a relief! Now I could do the Capownie right and not have to live the rest of my life in shame. Though having learned some hard lessons from past failures, I decided I should probably test the pie out before sticking it into the middle of a cake lest I find out too late that the two fillings liquified each other or something equally horrid.
What I found out was that people LOVE apple cheesecake pie. People love it a lot. My friend Kim even came up with a name: The Pleasecake Pie. It’s a great name on many levels, not the least of which is how much you are going to hear the word “please” when you serve this baby.
APPLE CHEESECAKE PIE
Basic Pie Pastry
2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup very cold water, approx (can substitute 1/2 of the water with cold vodka)
Mix flour, sugar, and salt with a pastry cutter or in food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter over dry ingredients and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, 10 to 15 seconds. Sprinkle water slowly over the top of the flour mixture while pulsing mixer. Use only enough water to make the dough stick together when a small amount is squeezed in your hand; be careful not to over mix. Dough will be slightly crumbly. Separate dough in half (with one half being slightly smaller than the other). Gently shape dough into discs (without kneading) and wrap tightly in plastic, and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Apple Pie Filling
2 – 2 1/2 lbs baking apples, peeled, cored and diced (I like Braeburns and Gala)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 rounded tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
2 tbsp maple syrup
In a medium saucepan cook apples and lemon juice on medium heat, stirring regularly until they are soft (but still hold their shape), about 10 minutes — some apple pieces may start to break down, that’s okay. Drain all liquids. Return to heat; add corn starch, stir and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Add maple syrup, stir and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out a larger portion of dough into a 15” circle. Carefully place in ungreased 9” pie pan lined with a parchment paper round (I find it easiest to “roll up” the dough around the pin and then unroll it over the pan); ease the dough carefully down the sides and bottom of the pan pressing it lightly into the bottom edge. Trim dough (with kitchen scissors) to leave only 1/2” overhang.
5 crushed graham crackers
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
4 tbsp melted butter
Mix cookies and sugar together. Add butter and stir until combined. Press mixture lightly, but firmly, onto bottom of pie crust in pie pan.
Adapted from Bakerella’s Cheesecake Bars
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp flour
3 oz. sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the sugar, cream cheese, and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. On medium low, add egg and mix well. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined. Pour on prepared crust, cover edges of crust with foil or crust protector, and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
Roll out smaller dough disc to 10” circle. Gently spoon all of the apple filling on top of the cheesecake. Place dough over filling to cover, trimming to fit just over the bottom crust (you may have to wet the bottom crust slightly with water until a thin paste forms so that the top crust will stick to it). Cut vents in the top crust and bake for 30 minutes until top very light golden brown. Cool completely; cover in plastic wrap and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator until ready to serve.