Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Back in October, I was in Minneapolis, for my college reunion. A group of us decided to eat out for lunch. As we walked into Midtown Global Market, I was elated to see the amazing Salty Tart Bakery. I had heard about them, but didn't know where they were located. Needless to say, I was excited to try something from their bakery. I decided on an apple tart with a creamy filling. Now let me just say, I usually go for chocolate when it comes to desserts. But, for some reason on that beautiful fall day, I couldn't pass up that apple tart. Believe me, it did not let me down. It was the perfect combination of fruity and creamy and I loved that it wasn't too rich or decadent. Just perfect.
Well, I've been dreaming about that little tart every since, so when I ran across something similar in Nigella's cookbook, I had to try it. The original recipe calls for rhubarb instead of apples, but the rest of it was very similar to the Salty Tart dessert, so I went for it. But don't you worry, come rhubarb season, I will definitely make it as intended by the beautiful Nigella Lawson.
Instead of a tart crust I used a pre-made, frozen pie shell. The tart crust would have been fantastic, but I have not mastered the art of homemade pastry dough. It's on my list of things to conquer.
Apple Cream Pie
adapted from Nigella Lawson's Rhubarb Tart in How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking page 107.
store bought or make your own.
4-6 apples, a mix of tart and sweet is always nice. I used granny smiths and a couple of galas.
1/3 cup sugar
1/2-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. heavy cream
2 Tblsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the crust: Bake crust according to package instructions and set aside to cool. Or, make your own crust, bake, and set aside to cool.
For the Apple Topping: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel, core, and chop apples, about 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a shallow glass pan and pour the sugar and cinnamon over the top of the apples. Toss together to evenly coat apples. Cover with foil and bake until soft. About 20-30 minutes. But, check after 15 minutes. When done, mash apples to applesauce consistency and set aside to cool.
For the Cream Cheese Filling: Using a hand/stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add heavy cream, whipping until well combined and slightly thickened. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix to a soft creamy consistency. Do not over stir, this needs to be light and airy.
Assembly: Spoon cream cheese filling into baked and cooled pie crust. Then top with the apple mixture. Spread to fill pie shell evenly. Refrigerate for about 1 hour or until the pie is set.
Enjoy this amazing pie that requires very little use of the oven! :)