Jessie Sheehan - Apple Crumb Pie with a Cream Cheese Crust

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021
Celebrate National Apple Pie Day with Jessie Sheehan’s recipe for the American classic with a twist.
Apple Crumb Pie
Seasonal Event:
1 Pie

For the Pie Dough

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1⁄4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz cream cheese, chilled, cubed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cubed
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, chilled
  • 1 tbsp ice water
  • 1 egg white for brushing on the bottom crust pre-bake, reserve the yolk for brushing on the fluted edges

Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Rounded 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, diced into small pieces
  • Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Apple Filling

  • 2/3 - 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • pinch of allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 pounds apples, about 4 large ones, such as granny smith and honey crisp

Egg Wash

  • One yolk 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch of kosher salt


To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process briefly to combine. Add the cream cheese and butter, and pulse until the butter and cream cheese are broken up but are still in small chunks.

Dump the dough into a medium bowl and sprinkle the vinegar and ice water over it. Toss the dough with your hands in order to evenly distribute the liquid, and then knead the dough in the bowl until a bit of dough can be pinched together between two fingers and hold its shape. Bring the dough together into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Remove the disk from the refrigerator, lightly flour a work surface, and roll it into a 10 or 11-inch circle. Place it in a 9-inch pie plate, crimp the edges and brush the egg white over the bottom of the dough. This will protect the pie from developing a soggy bottom while it bakes. Transfer to the freezer for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 400°F

To make the crumb topping, combine all of the topping ingredients in a medium bowl and using your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you the mixture forms one large clump. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling, whisk the sugar, spices, salt and cornstarch in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Peel and core the apples and slice them quite thin, about 1/4 inch thick, or thinner. Add the slices to the sugar mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until evenly coated.

To make the egg wash, combine the egg yolk, water and salt in a small bowl, and brush along the crimped edge of the crust.

Pile the apples in the crust and cover in the crumb, forming it into little clumps as you do so and pressing it down lightly to adhere. Leave a bit of the filling exposed at the top of the pie, so that you can see it when it is bubbling and ready to be pulled from the oven.

Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and bake for about 1 hour and fifteen minutes, rotating at the halfway point and tenting with foil. The pie is ready when the filling bubbles in the center, and/or the internal temp of the pie registers 195°f.

Let rest until it reaches room temperature, about 3 hours if you are feeling patient. If not, at least two hours. Serve slices with vanilla ice cream. The pie will keep lightly covered in plastic wrap on the counter for up to three days.