When life gives you apples, make apple pie! I had an abundance of apples and they were begging to be baked into a dessert, but in the summer time I don’t really want to eat a classic apple pie warmed and served a la mode. This pie is the perfect balance between a no-bake dessert and a full-on top crust pie.
Warning: this is not a quick dessert to make. If you want it to be pretty you have to take your time (about 15-20 minutes!) arranging the “petals”. I would recommend that beginners just arrange the apple slices in a flat pattern to avoid stress. If you are a meticulous person like me you’ll LOVE making this pie!
As far as taste, this pie is spicy, creamy, sweet, and crisp. The gingersnap crust adds the bite of spice which is balanced by the thin cream cheese layer. The apples are light and tender with just the right sweetness that comes from using a tart red apple like Pink Lady. Choose an apple that is in between a sweet Gala and a sour Granny Smith so that the sugar ratio is correct.
If you don’t like the skin on your apple slices it’s okay if you peel the apples before slicing, but beware that the thin slices will lose stability and may turn into “mush” and you’ll miss out on the pretty pink color!
Give this pie as a gift if you want to make someone smile 🙂
Ivy B. Lake
For this recipe you will need a 9” pie dish or tart pan, a food processor, a cutting board, an apple-cutting knife, a small saucepan, an electric mixer, 3 bowls, and some patience.
Ingredients for the crust:
- 6 oz. spice cookies (like gingersnaps)
- 2 oz. graham crackers
- 2 tbsp. white sugar
- 3 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Ingredients for the filling:
- 1 package cream cheese (8 oz.)
- 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Ingredients for the apples:
- 2 tbsp. melted apple jelly
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. apple pie spice
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. cold butter, in pieces
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1.5 lbs. apples (Pink Lady works best)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the apples without peeling the skin off into 1/8” slices (very thin!). Set these slices in a bowl of water and 2 tbsp. of lemon juice. Set the cream cheese out to soften!
After the apples are all cut remove them from the lemon water with a slotted spoon and put them into a large bowl. Toss with the brown sugar, salt, apple pie spice, and cinnamon. Let the apple slices rest in this bowl for an hour, tossing occasionally with a spatula. The salt will make the slices tender enough to bend into the petal shape.
In a food processor, crush the graham crackers and gingersnap cookies into a fine crumb and then add the melted butter. Pulse a few times and add the salt and sugar. Add the egg white and pulse until well mixed. Dump the crust mixture out onto your pie tin (ungreased) and press with your fingers until there is an even layer on the bottom and up the sides. Bake this for 12 minutes at 350.
Remove the baked crust from the oven and let cool. In a medium bowl cream the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together until blended. Smooth this mixture onto the bottom of the cooled pie crust.
Once the apples have been in their sugar mixture for an hour they will have released a lot of juices. Drain this liquid and then begin to carefully lay out the slices on top of the cream cheese. Start from the outermost edge, near the crust, and as you reach the center of the pie make the slices overlap more and form a tighter circle. Top the petals with 2 tbsp. of cubed cold butter (about 1/2cm in size).
Bake the pie complete with the slices arranged for 45-50 minutes at 350. Once baked, remove from the oven and let cool.
Melt the apple jelly with a splash of water in a saucepan and then brush over the pie to make the petals shine. Store this pie in an airtight container in the fridge and serve chilled!
After all the work you will have a decadent pie that is ready to impress! Please leave any comments below if you have any questions or suggestions.