Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Apple Custard Pie with Streusel Topping
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a lovely pie, don't get me wrong, but I sometimes think those of us who love food and cooking gild the lily. Most folks, when asked to name a typically American food, would choose apple pie. There are even some among us who believe that Abraham Lincoln, somewhere between the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address, first coined the phrase as "American as Apple Pie." Funny thing is that apples aren't native to the United States and "our" apple pie was popular in Europe centuries before it appeared here. Over time we became the world's largest apple producer and apple pie became associated with our life style and cuisine. Truth be told, hard cider was more popular than pie and was probably the reason our forefathers chose to grow so many apples. Somewhere, in some kitchen, someone with unused custard they didn't want to waste, decided that sugar, apples and cinnamon buried in a crust - called a coffin in merry old England - made too plain a dessert for a forward looking nation. So, they took the custard and poured it over the apples only to discover they had created another problem. The crust used to cover the apples made no sense with a custard filling. Fortunately, American ingenuity surfaced and deduced that a crumbly streusel with a gazillion calories would be a perfect topper for the pie. That's my take on how apple custard pie with streusel topping came to be. I hope you'll take it with a grain of salt. I use cheese custard and caramel syrup in my pie, so it's richer than some and a bit like apple cheesecake. The recipe is a prize winner and was developed by Shelby Thomas for the Georgia Apple Festival. If you have a sweet tooth or know and love someone with one that needs to be assuaged, you'll love this pie. If you're a purist, come back in September for my Mile-High Apple Pie..
Apple Custard Pie with Streusel Topping...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 9-inch pastry lined pie pan
1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups diced apples (I use Golden Delicious or Granny Smith)
1/3 cup golden brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Combine cheese, caramel topping, sugar, flour, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl and beat until a smooth batter is formed. Add the egg and beat until well-combined. Fold in apples. Pour into pastry lined pan.
3) Place on center rack in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and bake for 10 minutes longer.
4) Meanwhile combine sugar, butter and flour in a small bowl. Cut ingredients together until crumbly. Stir in pecans.
5) Sprinkle topping evenly over top of pie. Bake until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes longer, for 15 to 20 minutes longer. Allow to cool slightly. Serve warm. Yield: 8 servings.