Fall in Chattanooga means our bed and breakfast inn is full of great Guests and we love to cook for them! One of my favorite ingredients to use this time of year is apples-on our french toast, in our red and green apple appetizer with brown sugar cream, even in the breads and cookies we bake here at the Inn. Our Apple Cider Cream Cheese Pie is easy to make and has a light, yet rich taste. It can be made ahead of time (yeah!) and holds well for up to 2 or 3 days in the fridge. You may even want to make this for Thanksgiving to please the “non-pumpkin pie” part of the family.
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup boiling apple cider
12 ozs of cream cheese (that is 1 8 oz package and ½ of another one), softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 graham cracker crust OR your own pastry shell baked off
Heat your apple cider until it is boiling(on the stove or microwave)
While the cider is heating, mix your gelatin, your sugar and your cinnamon in a small bowl
Add the boiling cider to the sugar mixture and stir for around 5 minutes or until the gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved. Set aside
In a large mixing bowl, beat your cream cheese and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy. Very gradually, add in about 1/4th of the liquid into your cream cheese, mix, then add in another 1/4th, etc. until it is incorporated and creamy.
Put the mixer bowl in the frig and let it set for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring it about every 15 minutes or so. Be sure the scrape the sides.
Remove and gently stir until it is smooth again, then pour the mixture into your pie shell, cover and let it refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Innkeeper’s Notes: To garnish, I use freshly whipped cream and sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar as well. I also like to take an apple, slice it thin and then cook it in my skillet with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon sugar and butter. I take about 3 pieces of the cooked apples for each slice of pie and fan them on top for a beautiful presentation. Everyone will think you spent hours on this dessert-you know you didn’t, but don’t tell on yourself!
As I look out my office window here at the Inn, the view is spectacular yellows, oranges and greens set against the red brick of my neighbor’s wall and the sunny blue sky beyond that. Spring has its charms, Summer has its excitement and Winter is all about coziness, but nothing can beat the incredible palette of colors that Autumn offers us here in Chattanooga.
Speaking of winter cozy-come stay with us soon. On November 25, we will be decked out for the Holidays-a wonderful time to visit Chattanooga! Hot cocoa will be served in a Christmas mug and, yes, there are marshmallows to go on top and cookies for dunking. The Christmas Romance Package is now on-line and we hope it is one you will “innjoy”!