I am totally psyched for my extended family's Labor Day weekend "camping" trip. All 30-some of us congregate in a little town in south-central Pennsylvania on my aunts' and uncles' rural creekside property. Some sleep indoors, some tent, and we all canoe, build fires, and, most importantly, eat a crap-ton. Except we're Mennonite, so it tastes a lot better than crap. It's more like an ambrosia-ton.... never mind.
This year, my contribution is an apple cheese pie, recipe found in Taste of Home's annual Fall Baking issue, and key lime white chocolate chip cookies. Here is my photo chronicle of baking the apple cheese pie.
This is a rather unique recipe, calling for a double crust, but also a layer of caramelized pecans under the bottom crust. So I started thus:
Then the bottom crust.
Then a layer of cream cheese, a little sharp cheddar, and a pinch of sugar, topped with sliced Granny Smith apples tossed with sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and ginger.
Over goes the top crust, and into the oven.
And here, ladies and gentlemen, is a PIE.
Unfortunately, the recipe called for me to invert the pie so the pecans would be on top, so I lost my beautiful top crust, but I am glad I inverted it while still warm. I used a larger, heavier pie dish to invert into so that it would keep its shape.
I made the whole house smoky because the juices dripped down into the oven, but the kitchen has been set to rights, and the dish looks gorgeous. I've only recently gotten into eating apple slices with sharp cheddar, so I'm excited about how that combination will taste in this pie. Check back for a tasting update next week!
Tasting update: This pie got fantastic reviews from its tasters! Not too sweet, with just the right hints of saltiness and tang from the cheddar and cream cheese. The Granny Smiths baked well, producing a soft bite while still maintaining their shape and texture. The nuts and cheese complimented each other beautifully. My only lament is that I didn't taste the pie warm; I suspect that its flavors may have been more robust if served soon after baking. I'm definitely keeping this recipe around!