This year, we are actually foregoing a traditional Thanksgiving in favor of ice fishing at our family’s cabin. Wait, let me rephrase. Brian and the boys will be ice fishing while Cam and I keep the cabin warm. If you think I’m going to subject myself to anything that involves the word ice when we’ve been without official heat for a week, well, sorry, but I’m here to announce that my coping skills aren’t that high. The boys, that includes Brian, have been put on alert they are now responsible for providing us with Thanksgiving dinner.
They are all probably relieved I’ll leave them to the fishing. I tend to give advice when I know nothing about it (giving advice is, like, my best talent). Plus, I refuse to clean any fish I may catch which is a major no-no in Brian’s eyes (his motto: you catch, you clean; my motto: if you clean them in my kitchen sink, you die). But I did offer to cook the little fishies once caught. So you see? I am still pulling my weight around here.
Even though we won’t be having a traditional Thanksgiving (we’ve actually been enjoying it in bits and pieces over the last few months while I’ve made and tested recipes to post for you guys), I’m not sure I can make it through the official holiday without pie. As I’ve been known to say: you can’t have too many pie options on Thanksgiving…or any day of the year, really.
Sometimes classic recipes are where it’s at. Give me a good pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and I’m very happy (although I don’t necessarily want to eat it mid-summer). Traditional apple pie is probably one of my favorite things in all the land. And banana cream pie? As classic as it gets.
But there are other times when thinking outside of the pie box is just plain fun. Like this apple cheesecake pie. You’ve got apples. You’ve got cheesecake. And you’ve got pie. It’s brilliant and delicious and a great way to change things up if you want something a bit different than the classic standbys.
I absolutely loved the combination of tender, sweet apples layered with silky, creamy cheesecake and topped with a light sour cream and powdered sugar mixture. If you are a lover of apple pie and also of cheesecake (but find yourself unable to summon the energy to make both), then I dedicate this pie to you.
Just to reiterate the instructions in the recipe, you will want to have an unbaked pie crust fitted into a 9-inch pie plate for this recipe. Keep it lightly covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator until ready to use.
You can really use any type of apple you prefer here. Honeycrisp are delicious in this pie as well as Jonagold, Fuji or Gala. I think Granny Smith would be too tart but you could certainly experiment with them.
- Single unbaked pie crust fitted to 9-inch pie plate (see crust recipe and tutorial here) chilled until ready to use
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 apples, cored, peeled, and chopped
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- In a large 12-inch skillet or in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 1 tablespoon butter for the apple filling. Add the apples, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Cook the mixture, stirring often, until the apples are tender and the liquid is thick and syrupy, 10 minutes or so.
- Let the apple mixture cool to room temperature (you don't want to pour it into the pie shell while it's warm). It will cool more quickly if you scrape it into another dish and refrigerate. But if you don't want to wash another dish, I get it. Just let it cool in the pan. The apple mixture can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for a day or so.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- For the cheesecake layer, beat the cream cheese, salt and sugar with an electric mixer until it is creamy and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs and mix just until combined (over mixing can cause the cheesecake layer to crack while baking). Stir in the vanilla and sour cream.
- Layer the apple mixture into the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Spread the cheesecake filling evenly over the top.
- Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Without removing the pie, reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake for 35-45 minutes until the edges are set but the very middle of the pie is just slightly wobbly.
- Check the pie during baking and cover the edges with foil or a pie shield of they are over browning.
- Let the pie cool to room temperature. Mix together the sour cream and powdered sugar and spread evenly over the top of the cooled pie. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours (or up to overnight) before serving.
Recipe Source: adapted from this blog after Lien B., a reader, sent it to me (she’s also the one who has sent me fabulous recipes like this vanilla bean cheesecake and these delightful mug cakes and this chocolate wafer cake – among others – thanks for having great taste in food, Lien!)