A fun and festive dessert!
I love using mascarpone in cheesecake-style desserts because it has a soft, satiny texture and less sodium than cream cheese. Combining whipped mascarpone with the fixings for cheesecake crust and canned apple pie filling makes for a most splendid no-bake dessert – it makes things really simple (to the point where this dessert takes just 10 minutes to prepare). If you have time, you can easily cook up your own filling with sliced apples, sugar and spices (recipe provided below).
- 1 cup (250 mL) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature*
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) white sugar
- 8 graham crackers
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) white sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter, melted
- 1 cup (250 mL) chilled apple pie filling (canned or homemade – see below)
*Substitute with cream cheese if you prefer.
- In a medium bowl, blend together mascarpone and 1/4 cup sugar; beat until smooth.
- Place graham crackers in a zippered sandwich bag and seal bag. Crush crackers with the bottom of a sturdy glass or mug.
- Pour graham crumbs into a small bowl. Add sugar and melted butter; stir to combine.
- Place about 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of apple pie filling in the bottom of four serving dishes (small mason jars, cocktail glasses or even wine glasses work well).
- Put 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of the mascarpone mixture on top, then add a tablespoon (15 mL) of the graham crumb mixture.
- Repeat all three layers; sprinkle with a bit more cinnamon for garnish.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 4 individual desserts; recipe can easily be doubled.
Homemade apple pie filling (approximately 2 cups):
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch each of nutmeg and powdered ginger
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and 2 tablespoons of water. Cover pot and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 4-6 minutes or until apples are just beginning to soften.
- In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and remaining water. Add to the apples and stir constantly until apples are nicely softened but not mushy and filling is thickened (about 2 minutes).
- Cool to room temperature then transfer to an airtight container or jars and refrigerate.
- Leftover apple pie filling is great on granola, oatmeal or even as a spread for toast.