We had a lot of fun with this. It’s not really a pie or a pastry but it is scrumptious. It’s made with a rich cream cheese pastry on top and bottom with an apple cinnamon filling tucked in. It’s a little more work than an apple pie but it’s not hard and it is worth the extra time.
Check out the unusual topping. It’s easy. It is made by freezing the pastry dough and then shredding it as you would shred cheese. We used an electric shredder attachment for our stand-type mixer and made quick work of the task though a box grater works too.
Ingredients for the dough
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1 cup cold butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup whipping cream
Ingredients for the filling
1/2 to 2/3 of an 8-ounce jar of red currant jelly or other red jam or jelly
1. Cream the cream cheese and butter together. Add the vanilla and granulated sugar and continue creaming.
2. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add half the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat until just combined. Add the whipping cream and beat again. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until just combined. You should have a soft dough. Add more cream or flour if necessary to get the right consistency.
3. Divide the dough in half. Put one half in the refrigerator and the other in freezer. Allow the dough in the refrigerator to freeze rock hard, at least several hours.
4. For the filling, peel and core the apples then coarsely grate them. Add the cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice, flour, optional cranberries, and nuts. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the half of the dough that was in the refrigerator and roll it out as you would pie dough. Place it in a ten-inch springform pan and mold the dough across the bottom and 2/3’s up the sides. (See picture.) You may cut and patch the dough as required.
6. Spread the jelly across the bottom of the dough. Spoon the filling into the pastry shell. (See picture.)
7. Take the frozen dough from the freezer. Coarsely grate it as you would cheese using a box grater or electric grater. Spread the grated dough across the top of the pastry.
8. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the apples are oozing juice. Cool on a wire rack for five minutes and then remove the outer ring. Cool until just warm and serve plain, with whipped cream, or ice cream.
Baker’s note: Both the jelly and cranberries add color to the dessert making it more attractive. Do not cut while it is piping hot.