Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Caramel Apple Cheese Pie Recipe


Years ago I used to visit a restaurant that served this amazing deep dish caramel apple pie that was to die for. When the restaurant closed, I mourned that pie, and over the years I've tried to remember exactly what was inside it, how the texture was, etc. so that I could recreate it at home. 

The pie had a graham cracker crust, was deep-dish, had a crumb topping, and a dense apple filling. But the best part was the cheesecake-like layer at the bottom of the pie and the rich caramel flavor. 

Putting my pie-making skills to the test, I tried to create a recipe to rival my long-lost favorite pie, and I was happy with the results! I combined a basic apple pie with crumb topping with a thin cheesecake layer, and lots of gooey caramel. 

It was delicious, and though it may seem like there are a lot of steps to make it, it actually comes together quickly! For my pie I used a premade grocery store graham cracker pie crust, but if you prefer you can make your own with crushed graham crackers and butter. You also can use a classic dough crust, but I think the graham cracker just goes great with the cheesecake element, so that's what I do. Here's the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 prepared graham cracker pie crust

4-5 cups tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/2" to 1" pieces (Granny Smith work great)

1- 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened

Granulated sugar

Flour

Vanilla extract

Butter, softened

Ground cinnamon

Corn starch

1 small egg

10 caramels

2-4 T heavy cream or milk


Directions:

 1. Prepare pie crust. Prepare a graham cracker pie crust or use a store bought crust. 


2. Prepare the cream cheese mixture. Mix softened block of cream cheese in mixer along with 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Mix until completely combined and there are no lumps in the mixture. Add one small beaten egg and mix again until combined and mixture is completely smooth. 


3. Spread half of the cheesecake mixture in the bottom of the pie crust. Set aside the other half of the mixture.

4. Prepare the apples. Peel, core, and chop the apples into 1/2" to 1" size pieces (or thin slices if you prefer) and then place them into a large bowl. 


5. Prepare the apple filling. In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon corn starch until combined. Pour this mixture over the bowl of apples and toss until apples are completely coated. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 

6. Pour the coated apple mixture into the pie crust on top of the cream cheese mixture. 



7.Pour remaining cream cheese mixture over the apples and then prepare the crumb topping. In a medium bowl use your clean hands to mix together 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 4 tablespoons of sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 6 tablespoons of butter until soft crumbs begin to form. For larger crumbs add a bit more butter. Pour crumb mixture on top of the pie.



8. Bake in 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 12 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for an additional 35 minutes. Carefully test apple softness in center of pie with a knife. If too firm, bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Prepare the caramel while the pie is baking. Unwrap caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 30 second intervals until they start to melt, mix with a fork, and then add two tablespoons of cream or milk and mix, combining well until mixture is creamy. Add another tablespoon or two of cream/milk until you get the consistency of cake batter. Once pie has finished baking, carefully pour the hot caramel on top of the crumb topping. 

9. Allow to cool for at least one hour before slicing. Enjoy with ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers.


Variations: 
*For more caramel flavor throughout the pie, increase the quantity of caramels and pour half of caramel/cream mixture on top of apples before adding other toppings.

*If using very sweet apples, decrease sugar in pie.

*You can completely omit the cheesecake element if that's not to your taste. Just make the rest of the pie as directed. Enjoy!


We thought the pie was even better the next day!




Article copyright Laura Beth Love 2020 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link updates or corrections leave correct info in comment area. 

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