fat free opinions on a food centric life

I Heart this Apple Cream Streusel Pie

When I was growing up, I rarely hesitated if someone asked me what my favorite flavor was because it was simple.  Chocolate.  In fact, I loved chocolate so much, in my late teens I wouldn’t hesitate to eat a brownie topped by a scoop of chocolate ice cream and drizzled with fudge sauce.  If those little piece of chocolate shot were to be had, they would be perfect sprinkled over the top of it all.

And then everything changed.  I love that part about life.  I really do.  Can you imagine always doing the same thing day in and day out?  Wait.  I guess most of us can imagine that quite easily, right?  Maybe that’s why food is such an adventure.  I know.  Rocket science.

So back to the chocolate…It wasn’t because I had a bad experience.  And I know it wasn’t sensory overload — although I was in a position to qualify for that eating chocolate on chocolate with chocolate.  Somehow, another “flavor” began to creep into my thoughts when I had a sweet tooth.  Actually, it was a combination of flavors…the tartness of a great apple (definitely none of that mushy golden delicious stuff), the hint of cinnamon, rich brown sugar, the crunch of nuts, and, oh my…cream.

It didn’t matter if it was a pastry and ice cream, apple cobbler, apple crisp, or apple pie.  But somehow, there was just no contest.  I’m still a chocolate lover, but the affair has been over for a long, long time.

And what does one do with lovely apples when the menfolk in the house conveniently forget that one a day keeps the doctor away?  I make apple pie.  And this one combines all my favorite flavors into one warm and comforting pie.

Totally delicious and very, very easy to make.  It comes together very quickly, so make sure everything is ready to go.

Apple Cream Streusel Pie

Use the crust in the recipe for this Banana Cream Pie.  It’s the best I’ve found and is lovely each time I make it.  Flaky, flaky, flaky!  Or if you have a favorite, use that instead.

Filling

3 peeled, cored, & sliced Fuji apples (about 2 lbs.)
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2-3/4 c. sour cream
1/4-1/2 c. mascarpone  (the combination of the sour cream & the mascarpone should equal 1 c.)
3/4 c. sugar
2-1/2 T all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Streusel Topping

6 T all purpose flour
1/4 c. (4 T) chilled unsalted butter cut into small cubes
1/2 c. chopped pecans
2 T brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare the pie crust according to the directions provided in the link.  While the crust is blind baked, slice the apples and toss in a large bowl with the lemon juice to prevent the fruit from discoloring.

In another bowl, combine the sour cream, mascarpone, egg, sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt until well combined.  Add the apples and stir to coat evenly.  Pour into cooled pie shell.  Bake for 30 minutes until filling is set.  You may want to place strips of foil on the crusts to prevent excessive browning.

While the pie is baking, prepare the streusel.  Using a fork, mix flour and cold butter in a medium bowl.  Add chopped pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and mix well.  When the pie is set, sprinkle streusel over the it and bake until it browns lightly about 10-15 minutes.  Watch it to keep it from browning too much.  Cool to room temperature before serving and store covered in the refrigerator.

Notes:

  • I adapted this recipe from a collection of New England recipes called A New England Table edited by Ainsley Turner that I purchased in Mystic Seaport, CT years ago when we took our school’s eighth graders on an East Coast Trip.  I loved New England, and the recipes from this book remind me of the great time we had.
  • The original recipe included its own crust which I did not try because I tend to have left over pie dough in the freezer from the recipe I linked above.  I always forget to divide the recipe when I make it!  A good excuse to make a pie, right?  Anyway, the original recipe was for a “Blueberry Streusel Sour Cream Pie”, which sounds pretty good, too.
  • If you don’t like cinnamon, try cardamom and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Or leave spice out all together.  If you don’t like nuts or have an allergy, those can be left out of the streusel.  Just make sure the butter is very very cold either way.  If need be, put the streusel in the fridge or even freezer for a time to firm the butter back up.

Enjoy!