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Frozen Apple and Peanut Butter Cloud Pie

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: Picture an apple pie, and you likely envision a pie that is piping hot and has just been removed from the oven. Not so with this recipe for Frozen Apple and Peanut Butter Cloud Pie! You'll love this new twist on the classic pie, complete with a generous amount of peanut butter.

When people tick off their personal lists of things they like to eat with apples, peanut butter often comes out near the top. Thus it was an easy–and indeed correct–assumption that apples would work well as a bottom layer in this, one of my all-time-favorite peanut butter pies. There are three layers here: a graham cracker crust; sautéed apples on top of that; and then a sort of peanut butter mousse, made with whipped cream, cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and beaten egg whites.

Once the pie is assembled, it goes into the freezer for at least four to five hours to get it good and firm–so you’ll need to make this in the morning if you want to serve it for dinner. For a special touch; drizzle a little chocolate dessert topping over each slice. Kids are crazy about this pie.

Makes10 servings

Cooking MethodBaking, Sauteeing

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

Recipe CourseDessert

EquipmentElectric Mixer

Taste and TextureCreamy, Fruity, Nutty, Sweet

Type of DishDessert, Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Graham Cracker Crust or 1 large store-bought graham cracker crust
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 firm-textured cooking apples (such as golden delicious or northern spy), peeled, cored, and sliced
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ cup finely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts

Instructions

  1. Prepare the crust and press it into a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan, then fully pre bake according to the directions. Or simply use a store-bought crust, pre baking it according to the package directions, if necessary. In either case, set the crust aside on a cooling rack and let cool thoroughly.

  2. To prepare the apple layer, melt the butter in a large sauté pan. Stir in the apples and granulated sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and confectioners sugar and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat, scrape the apples onto a plate, and let-cool thoroughly.

  3. When the apples have cooled, spoon them into the crust. If there’s a fair amount of juice, use a slotted spoon and don’t add all the juice with the apples; reserve the remaining juice. Put the pie shell in the freezer. If you have reserved some of the juice, wait until the apples have been in the freezer for 20 minutes or so, then pour on the juice.

  4. To make the peanut butter cloud layer, use an electric mixer to whip the heavy cream until it holds semi-firm peaks. Cover and refrigerate.

  5. Using the mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together until smooth. Gradually beat in the sugars, then the vanilla. The mixture will be lumpy, like cookie dough. Add the whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture, slowly blending them together with the electric mixer until smooth.

  6. Clean and dry the beaters. Using a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold the whites into the peanut butter mixture with a rubber spatula until evenly blended. Scrape the mixture over the apples and smooth with a spoon. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the pie. Loosely cover with aluminum I foil and place in the freezer for at least 5 hours, until firm. Remove the pie from the freezer about 15 minutes before you plan to slice it.

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