My favorite thing to do this time of year is to go apple picking with my girlfriends.  However, our version of apple picking involves eating every single apple dessert on the menu of a small road-side stand and buying bags of already-picked apples.  This is to ensure that we have plenty of time to stop at the wineries near the orchards for wine tasting.  So I say that I love apple picking, but truthfully, I’ve never picked an apple (at least not that I can remember after wine tasting).  On our last trip, we had a pie very similar to this one.  This pie is part cheesecake and part apple crumb pie.  Enjoy!

Apple Cheesecake Crumb Pie
Yields 1 small 6″ pie.
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • 5 ounces (1 cup) flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold water
  • FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 1 small apple (I prefer Honey Crisp)
  • pinch of orange zest (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Caramel sauce for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. First, make the crust: stir together in a small bowl with a fork the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and use your finger tips or a pastry cutter to blend it into the flour.
  2. Once all the butter pieces are about the size of small peas, add the vinegar and a small amount of water, stirring between each addition. Add enough water so that the dough comes together in a ball, but isn’t overly sticky.
  3. Form the dough into a disk, cover it in plastic wrap, and let it chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the crumb topping: combine all ingredients except butter in a small bowl. Add the butter and rub it in until well incorporated. Set aside.
  5. Now, peel and dice your apple into 1/4” chunks. You should end up with about 1 cup of diced apple pieces.
  6. Add the apple to a medium bowl and toss with the cinnamon, flour, salt and orange zest (if using). Set aside. I
  7. n another bowl, beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, egg, sugar and cornstarch. Set aside while you prepare your pie crust.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  9. Roll the pie dough disk on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 8-9” in diameter. Carefully transfer this to a 7” pie tin and fit it in the bottom gently (do not ever stretch pie dough—it will shrink back in the oven). Fold the overhanging dough under the edges to form a double crust and make a pretty edge, either with a fork or your fingers. Do not prick the bottom of the dough with a fork. Transfer the pie tin to a small baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven. If the crust has puffed up, gently push it back down before pouring the cream cheese mixture on top. Add the diced apples on top, followed by the crumb topping. Bake for 30-40 minutes. If the crumbs aren’t brown enough, broil for a few minutes. This pie is great at room temperature, or even chilled. Serve with caramel sauce.