Thursday, March 22, 2012
Apple Chai Cream Cheese Pie
When I was younger, my mom had this recipe for blueberry cream cheese pie that I absolutely loved. It was my all-time favorite. It was a no-bake pie so the filling was one deliciously creamy bite after another. Well, I decided to take that pie and completely revamp it into something totally new. So, here's what I did.
First you all know how much I love the flavor of chai spice. So, I decided to incorporate those spices into my cream cheese filling and then use those flavors to lead the rest of the recipe. As a result, I also cut the amount of vanilla in half to let the spices shine through. Then, there was the matter of the crust. The original recipe also called for a regular pie crust. But, I didn't feel that it would really match with the chai spices. So, I used a graham cracker pie crust instead (although I think a gingersnap crust would be even better). Now for the topping. Blueberry is nice, but again not quite the pairing I'm looking for this time around. Apple pie filling, on the other hand, well, that's a different story. It goes hand in hand with warm spices. Perfect.
But wait, I'm not done yet. There's always room for a little something special. How about a spiced oat streusel to finish things off? This was really shaping up nicely (in my mind's eye, that is).
Putting it into practice, on the other hand, was a different story. I ran into a little "mishap" along the way. You see, I decided to substitute evaporated milk for the heavy cream that the original recipe called for. I also didn't bother to whip the milk before adding it. That said, I was still rather perplexed when I mixed it all up and found that it was quite liquidy. Funny, I thought, I don't remember it ever looking like this before. I could have sworn that I had made this pie once before with evaporated milk, but well, that was so many years ago that it's possible my memory is not what it once was (I later checked with my mom and turns out I was thinking of a completely different recipe than this one).
I crossed my fingers and put it in the fridge, hoping against hope that it would magically set. It didn't. So, onto Plan B. I stuck it in the freezer. That turned out to be the best idea ever! The filling became almost like a spiced cheesecake ice cream, and you know that's good stuff. Before serving, I topped it off with the apple pie filling, sprinkled on the streusel, and tada! I had myself a frozen Apple Chai Cream Cheese Pie (doesn't that have a nice ring to it). AMAAAZING!!!
This pie is good to the very last bite. You get the cold creaminess of the cheesecake, the soft sweetness of the apple pie filling, and the slight chewy toothsomeness of the streusel and crust to add a little variety in texture. I was so pleased at how it all came out and the others who ate it loved it too. This pie's the apple of my eye!
Frozen Apple Chai Cream Cheese Pie (created by Lisa of Sweet as Sugar Cookies)
graham cracker pie crust (or a gingersnap pie crust)
8 oz. cream cheese (can use 1/3 less fat)
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. chai spice (recipe below)
1 c. evaporated milk
1 can apple pie filling, chilled
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. rolled oats
3 Tbsp. butter, chilled
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, or more according to taste (or you could use the extra 1/2 tsp. chai spice)
Lisa's Chai Spice Blend (makes 2 tsp.):
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. allspice
Beat the cream cheese with the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and chai spice. Mix in the evaporated milk. Pour into the pie crust. Put in the freezer and let freeze.
For the streusel: Combine the flour with the brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon (or chai spice if using). Cut in the chilled butter until you have pea-sized bits.
Just before serving, top with the chilled apple pie filling. Sprinkle the streusel onto the pie filling. You can let the pie thaw a little before serving if you prefer.
Note: If you really feel extravagant, you could probably even drizzle this with some caramel ice cream topping.
Linked up to:
Bake with Bizzy
A Little Birdie Told Me
Full Plate Thursday
Crazy Sweet Tuesday