Pie crust can make an excellent base for cheesecake custard. This custard is fall-ified with the addition of reduced apple cider and a garnish of thin apple slices. —Erin McDowell
one 9-inch pie
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups
very cold unsalted butter, cubed
ice water, as needed
egg wash, as needed
For the filling:
cream cheese, at room temperature
dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons
1 to 2
grates fresh nutmeg
boiled cider (available from King Arthur; thawed apple juice concentrate will work in a pinch)
For the optional finish:
juice of 1 lemon
apples, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
In This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and cinnamon to combine. Add the butter and pulse until it’s the size of peas. Remove the mixture and transfer to a medium bowl.
Use a fork to mix in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough just comes together. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4- to 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to the springform pan and work carefully to make sure it’s nestled all the way down to the base. Chill thoroughly; 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer is best.
Dock the frozen dough all over with a fork. Place a square of parchment over the pie and fill with pie weights. Bake until just beginning to brown at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pie weights, brush the base of the dough with egg wash, and return to the oven for 5 minutes more. Take the pie out of the oven and cool the crust completely. Reduce oven temperature to 350° F.
In the bowl of a food processor, purée the cream cheese, sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg to combine. Add the eggs and mix until smooth. Add the cream, cider, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.
Pour the filling into the cooled crust, and bake until the custard is just set, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely.
While the pie cools, you can make the (totally optional) garnish. Bring the sugar, water, and lemon juice to a boil in a small pot. Add the apples (you may need to work in batches), and simmer for about 1 minute. Lay out on absorbent paper towels to drain.
Layer the apples on top of the finished cheesecake pie.
I always carry three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's pie. My first cookbook, The Fearless Baker, is out on October 24, 2017.