With Love From
Darling's Kitchen

20. Easy Summer Desserts

The Recipes
Apple Cream Cheese Pie
Skinny Apple Pie Bars

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Dear Fans,

When I stop and think of what Adam and Eve risked for a simple dessert like an apple, I shudder to imagine what they would have chanced for an elegant Apple Cream Pie.

Of course you know I love desserts. Whether they are light and refreshing or rich and exciting, for me, no dinner is complete without dessert. The grand finale is, in a sense, a high point of dinner as well, for when you really think about it, more time is spent lingering over dessert and coffee than any other course of the meal. And, of course, dessert is the only course that truly stands alone.

So, if you are planning an excellent finale to dinner or if you are inviting friends for a grand dessert and coffee, I hope you enjoy my very simple, yet very elegant Apple Cream Cheese Pie. Not the least of its virtues is that it can be prepared literally in minutes, does not have to be baked (except for the few minutes to firm the crust), can be made earlier in the day and stored in the refrigerator.

The crust and the cream filling are basic. You can vary the topping with any number of fruits. An extravagant variation is to omit the apples and ladle my Strawberry Sauce at the time you serve. It will taste like a Strawberry Sauce Topped Cheese Pie.

My second choice, which is probably the simplest dessert you ever heard of, except for the "Apple" Eve served to Adam, is Skinny Apple Pie Bars.  It is an interesting story how this came about, but I will share it later.  At this time, I will only say for the little time spent, you have 2 dozen bars that will truly amaze you

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Apple Cream Cheese Pie

Graham Pie Shell:
1 1/4 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

In a 9-inch pie pan, combine all the ingredients and press crumbs gently along bottom and sides of pie pan. Bake shell in a 350° oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until crust is set. Cool before filling. Meanwhile, prepare filling.

Cream Cheese Filling:
1 package cream cheese, 8 ounces, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 heaping tablespoon finely grated lemon. Use fruit, juice and peel.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread filling into cooled pie shell. Top with Apple Topping or Strawberry Sauce Topping. Refrigerate for several hours, or until cold and firm. Serves 8.

Apple Topping:
1 can Comstock apple pie filling. Cut large slices in half.
1/2 cup yellow raisins, soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes and drained
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients until nicely combined.

Strawberry Sauce Topping: Variation: 1 package (1 pound) frozen, sliced strawberries in syrup
3 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate. (Do not dilute.)

Mix together all the ingredients and place in a sauceboat. When serving, spoon sauce to taste over pie. Any leftover sauce is great with pancakes, waffles or over ice cream. Serves 8.

Skinny Apple Pie Bars

1 package (18 1/2 ounces) yellow cake mix (without pudding added). Break up any lumps with your
fingers or a fork.
1 can Comstock apple pie filling. Cut apple slices in 1/2-inch pieces.
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

3 ounces (3/4 stick) butter. Cut butter into the thinnest slices.

Heavily butter the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan. Spread 1/2 of the cake mix evenly in pan.

Mix cinnamon sugar with the apple filling. With a tablespoon, spoon, the apple filling evenly over the cake mix.

Cover the apples evenly with the remaining cake mix. Sprinkle butter evenly over the top.

Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until top is browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan. When cool cut into bars. Yields 24 bars.

Note:  I call these Bars "Skinny" because they are low and only about 3/4-inch thick, so don't think                     anything went wrong.




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