The first month or so after Christmas usually ends up being pretty lean times around here. This year is no exception, even though we didn’t go overboard with the gifts. That means I haven’t been grocery shopping as much as I would like and the fridge is getting a little bit boring.
To cheer us up, I tossed together a few odds and ends that were still hanging around from Christmas baking. This Cream Cheese Apple Braid isn’t anything special but it sure is a tasty way to use up a wrinkled apple and a box of leftover pie crusts!
This “recipe” is so simple! Next time I’m going to try it with some puff pastry but since I had a 2 pack of pre-made pie crusts in the fridge, that’s what I used. Lay one flat and gently coax the corners out to form a square-ish shape. No need for perfection here folks!
Dollop a delicious cream cheese mixture down the center of the pie crust and top with chopped apple that’s been tossed with a bit of sugar and cinnamon. Simple!
Use a pastry brush to spread a beaten egg lightly over the crust, on either side of the filling. Slice the sides into thick strips then alternate them over top of the filling, forming a braid.
Just tuck the ends gently together, to keep the filling from oozing out.
Brush the tops with a bit more egg wash and sprinkle with a spiced sugar mixture before sliding the sheet pan into your preheated oven.
Using parchment paper will eliminate the need to grease your cookie sheet, while keeping your clean up quick and easy.
When the braids are golden brown, remove them to a wire rack to slightly cool before serving.
Serve slices as is or dust with powdered sugar. A warm slice would also be yummy served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream. It’s also a delicious treat with a cup of hot coffee or tea!
They are best served warm!
- 2 pre-made pie crusts
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 Tbs sugar
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 large or 2 small apples, peeled cored and chopped
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1 tsp all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 Tbs sugar + 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, mixed together
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
- In small bowl, toss together the apple pieces, cinnamon, sugar, flour and pinch of salt.
- Unroll one crust and gently stretch corner to form an almost square shape. Fold in thirds to make creases and unfold.
- Down center of crust, spread half of the cream cheese mixture, almost to edges. Top with half the apple mixture.
- Brush beaten egg lightly over the crust, on either side of the filling.
- Slice the sides into thick strips then alternate them over top of the filling, forming a braid.
- Fold ends up to keep filling inside.
- Repeat with the second crust and remaining filling/apples.
- Place braids on parchment lined sheet and brush tops with a bit more egg wash.
- Sprinkle with the spiced sugar mixture before sliding into your preheated oven
- Bake 25 – 30 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
- Remove them to a wire rack to slightly cool before serving.
- Serve slices as is or dust with powdered sugar.