There’s a buttery crust. A thick and tangy cream cheese layer. A bunch of spiced, tender apples. And a crunchy oat streusel topping.
You need this pie. Your friends and family need this pie. Even your second-floor neighbor (the one you kind sorta don’t like at all because she makes waaaaaaay too much noise clomping around in heavy high heels every single night) needs this pie.
Everyone needs to have a slice of this dessert.
A pie is to autumn what a candy cane is to Christmas – it is the natural essence of the season. It’s a necessity! A requirement! The lifeblood of the holidays!
Oh, you can certainly enjoy eating a traditional apple pie and feel festive. I won’t stop you. I’ll give you a small nod of approval as you enjoy a classic recipe.
But take it a step further. Go the distance this fall season.
Enjoy not just one single layer of cinnamon-covered apples, but a memorable medley of delicious flavors and textures, with Foodal’s recipe for apple cream cheese streusel pie!
Roll out your favorite buttery pastry dough recipe, and let’s bake something outrageously fantastic for fall.Print
Is there anything better than apple pie? Try this cinnamon apple cream cheese streusel pie, with a tasty medley of fall flavors.
For the Pie Crust:
- 1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
For the Cream Cheese Layer:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Apple Layer:
- 7 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples (about 4–6 medium apples)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Streusel Topping:
- 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and slightly softened
To Prepare the Crust:
- Roll out the dough round until it is slightly larger than an ungreased 9-inch pan, rolling out an extra 1/2 inch of dough around the perimeter. Use flour to prevent the crust from sticking as you roll. Transfer to the bottom of the pan, and press down on the bottom and sides. Fold in any excess dough around the edge and flute the dough all around the circumference of the pan.
- Place the pie shell in the freezer to chill for about 30 minutes while you assemble the filling and topping.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
To Prepare the Fillings and Topping:
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a handheld mixer, mix together the cream cheese and sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla until fluffy. Set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the apple layer. Set aside.
- In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the streusel topping, mashing and spreading the butter cubes evenly with your fingers so that the mixture is fairly uniform, like the texture of sand. Set aside.
To Assemble and Bake:
- Remove the crust from freezer. Place a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil that is slightly bigger than the pan on top of the crust and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Blind bake the crust for 25 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment paper and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven and lower the temperature to 350°F.
- Spread the cream cheese layer on the bottom of the crust. Place the apples on top, spreading them out evenly. Sprinkle the apples evenly with the streusel topping.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the streusel is golden on top and the mixture is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and let the cool for 1 hour on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature, or store in the fridge until ready to eat. Serve chilled or warm.
- Category: Pie
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: apple, streusel, cream cheese, pie, apple pie
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep the Crust
Roll out the dough until it is slightly larger than a 9-inch-round pan, rolling out about an extra 1/2 inch of dough around the pan.
Dust your work surface, rolling pin, and the dough with flour as necessary, to prevent sticking.
Transfer the round to the bottom of the pan, and press down on the bottom and sides. Fold in any excess dough around the edge and flute the dough all around the circumference of the pan. You can read more about perfecting your pie game and mastering the daunting crust here.
Looking for something different? Try our whole grain spelt crust for a flaky, nutty profile.
Place the pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes as you assemble the remaining layers – you need that butter to firm up again! A cold, firm dough will maintain its shape better, and it won’t shrink during baking.
Step 2 – Make the Cream Cheese Layer
While the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 375°F and start assembling the layers.
You’ll need to mix until there are no lumps of cream cheese remaining – you want a smooth mixture, just like a cheesecake. Starting with room temperature cream cheese will help you to achieve the smoothest mixture possible.
Beat in the egg and vanilla extract just until combined. Set aside.
Step 3 – Make the Apple Layer
Peel, cut, and thinly slice about 4 to 6 tart apples, depending on their size, to yield about 7 cups. You may want to mix the cut fruit with just a little bit of lemon juice to prevent excessive browning.
Step 4 – Make the Streusel Layer
In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the streusel topping, mashing and spreading the unsalted butter cubes evenly with your fingers so that the mixture is fairly uniform, with a texture like lumpy, clumpy sand.
You don’t want the butter to be too cold – it will take forever to make the crumble with solid butter cubes.
Conversely, you don’t want the butter to be too soft, either – melted butter will make a thick dough, rather than a crumbly topping.
As long as the butter sits at room temperature for about 10 minutes or so after you take it out of the refrigerator, you’re golden.
Step 5 – Blind Bake Crust
Blind baking the crust will eliminate the risk of a soggy bottom! It gives the crust a good head start before adding the filling, to ensure the bottom will be crisp, buttery, and flaky.
Remove the crust from the freezer. Place some parchment paper or aluminum foil, slightly bigger than the pan, on top of the crust and press it in lightly. Fill with dried beans or pie weights.
Blind bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the weights and parchment paper (lift the paper – those weights are hot!) , and bake for an additional 5 minutes until lightly golden brown.
Does baking a full pie scare you a little bit? If you don’t feel like crossing that bridge, use our fun technique to make hand pies!
Step 6 – Assemble
Remove the crust from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before layering the fillings.
First, spread the cream cheese layer on the bottom. Then, evenly pile the fruit slices on top, discarding any liquid from the fruit. Last, top the apples with an even layer of the streusel.
Step 7 – Bake
Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the streusel is golden on the top and the fruit mixture is bubbling.
Notice that your crust is getting too brown? (Mine was, whoopsies!) Gently wrap a piece of aluminum foil around the crust for the remainder of the bake time.
Step 8 – Cool and Serve
Remove from the oven and let cool for an hour on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature, or store in the fridge until you are ready to eat and enjoy.
Sweater Weather Layers Aren’t Just for Clothes!
I’m loving all the layers of flannels, sweaters, and jackets at this time of year… and my desserts want in on the fall fun, too!
With layers of cream cheese, cinnamon apples, and oat streusel, this baked dessert knows how to dress up.
Serve it chilled or warmed in the oven – it’s very versatile, just like your favorite sweater weather layers!
Does this beat the classic apple recipe, or a classic French apple tart or flaky strudel? Do you prefer streusel over a pastry top crust? Talk to me in the comment section below – I’d love to hear from you!
For more pie ideas with tons of apples, we have some goodies:
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on September 14, 2013. Last updated: June 7, 2021 at 20:00 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a full-time cheesemonger and specialty foods buyer living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.