This Thanksgiving dessert is almost too pretty to eat — almost, because no matter how pretty it is, guests will form a line to get a piece of this pie at Thanksgiving. My favorite kind of pies are those with graham cracker crust and a light cream cheese filling, just like this one. To make this pie, you will need a scalloped-edge, removable-bottom, 9-inch tart pan.
Not only does this pie taste amazingly wonderful, but it looks even more beautiful. And the good news is, no baking is required, not even for the crust.
First, mix up graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. In a tart or quiche pan with a removable bottom, pat the mixture down to form a crust on the bottom of the pan and on the sides. When forming the crust up the sides, stop about 1/2 inch below the top of the pan. That should help keep the crust intact, particularly when cutting serving-size pieces.
Add the cream cheese pie filling to the crust up to about 1/2 inch from the top. Smooth out the cream cheese filling with a spatula.
Next come the apples. It's best if the apples are made into roses just before serving so they don't turn brown. I tried McIntosh, Gala and Red Delicious apples for this recipe, and found that the Red Delicious and Gala apples did the best. The McIntosh apples tended to be too mushy when sliced and put into water.
Starting with one apple at a time, cut an apple in half, then cut it again to make a quarter section, and cut off the core. Carefully slice each quarter piece of apple lengthwise, on a diagonal cut (shows more color) that is about 1/4 inch wide. Make about 20 of the cuts a bit more on the thin side (these will be for the rosebuds). Put the apple slices in a microwave-safe bowl of water that has fresh lemon juice in it.
Warm the bowl of apple slices in the microwave for about 1 minute and 30 seconds (the water should have small bubbles in it). This amount of time may vary depending on the microwave. Be careful when removing the bowl from the microwave, because it will be very hot.
Lay a paper towel on a plate, and remove one of the thinly cut apple slices (being careful because the water will be hot). Lay the sliced apple on the paper towel, and dab it dry. Roll up the apple slice tightly to form the rosebud.
Lay the rosebud on the top of the pie.
Then take one of the smaller slices of apple, and form a rose petal on top of the pie.
Continue to add rose petals around the bud.
Set the rose petals slightly upright when reaching the outer leaves.
Add water to peach preserves, and it brush over the roses to help keep the apples from turning brown. I happened to have orange marmalade on hand, so I used that (minus the orange peel, of course).
Continue to add various sizes of roses on top of the pie, and include little buds to fill in the blank areas.
Before you know it, you'll have this masterpiece of a pie just ready and waiting to be cut into.
It makes such a pretty pie that it won't last long at all.
Prep time: 55 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes | Inactive time: 1-1/2 hours | Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
For the crust
For the crust
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