Cheesy Apple Casserole Recipe
|Cheesy Apple Casserole. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books|
On this crisp October morning, with my hazelnut coffee within reach, I could be writing about the glorious bounty of autumn's produce. The flurry and hurry to grab the last of summer's beefsteak tomatoes and crookneck squash, the be-still-my-heart moments when I spy muscadines and figs at the farmer's markets. Instead, I'm going to share a guilty pleasure, one of my family's most-requested dishes, a five-ingredient dish that is proudly processed, with all the shades of meaning that processed means these days.
We call it "cheesy apple," although in old-fashioned community cookbooks and web versions, the word "casserole" is usually attached to it. Strangely, its main ingredient is Velveeta cheese, but I couldn't locate the recipe on the Kraft website, however many versions of this recipe are to be found. Cheesy apple is reminiscent of apple pie with Cheddar crust, a lovely pie that I make when I get bags of North Georgia apples each fall. This recipe uses canned fried apples, in this case Glory Foods brand.
The spiced apple slices are topped with a sugar-butter-Velveeta dough and then baked to bubbly goodness. My guiltiest pleasure of this guilty pleasure is the raw dough, with the texture of Play-doh and the taste of sweet buttery cheese product. (An aside: I love what cookbook author Ann Hodgman has to say about Velveeta in her recipe for Mac and Cheese in "One Bite Won't Kill You" ~ it's a plastic, not a food and incredibly easy to work with.)
Although because of the pantry ingredients (if you count the freezer and fridge as a pantry for storing butter), this dish can be made year-round, it seems especially suited to fall. If you're running kids here and there, trying to get to soccer practice and piano lessons and need a little home-cooked goodness to fill little bellies on a cool night, give this recipe a try.
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
8 ounces Velveeta cheese (I used low-fat), cubed
2-3 cans Fried Apples (I used Glory Foods brand)
1. Preheat oven to 350. Use the butter wrapper to grease a casserole dish. In a bowl, mix together the butter and sugar, then stir in the flour until it forms a dough. Work in the Velveeta cubes.
2. When you have squished and formed the dough, and sampled it for seasoning (*wink*), pour canned apples into the greased casserole dish. Top the apples with lumps of the cheesy dough. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Casserole is done when the apples are bubbly and the cheesy dough is brown. Serve warm. Guilt is always best served warm, don't you think?
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