Hi everyone! This is my first post for Savvy Sassy Moms and I am so excited to be a new contributor. I LOVE food but sweets most of all. I look forward to sharing some amazing posts with you in the coming months! Today I have a recipe for Creamy Caramel Apple Pie Parfaits. It has a few more steps than I usually do when baking but it sounded so delicious I had to try it. There are tons of ways to make it take less time so feel free to take shortcuts wherever you can. These parfaits are PERFECT for fall and my super picky kids LOVED them! Of course I had to test them out (a lot) to make sure they were perfect for you. YUMMY!
First you need to make the apple pie filling for the parfaits. (STOP! Go get out your cream cheese so it can start to soften. Better yet, if you are planning ahead to make this recipe, take the cream cheese out an hour before you even start the other layers. It mixes best when it is REALLY soft!) You will need to allow time for the apples to cool before layering so this step could be made the day before if you wanted (just let them come up to room temperature before you assemble them as the cornstarch mixture turns in to a bit of a hard jelly…). Also, this is the first place you could simplify by just using store-bought apple pie filling. I totally thought about doing that. After I tasted this homemade version I was SO happy I didn’t!
Add the cornstarch and spices to a saucepan, then add water.
Peel and chop the apples. You will need about 4 1/2 cups. This took up the bulk of the time in the first step. Especially because my children kept coming in and asking for snacks. Toss the chunks in a bit of lemon juice. I’m not sure this step is totally necessary as you are just going to boil the apples anyway.
Bring the cornstarch and spice mixture to a boil on the stove. Add the apples, bring back to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes. When soft, but not squishy, remove from heat and let cool.
Graham Cracker Crust Layer
Who doesn’t love a graham cracker crust, am I right? Here you mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and some pumpkin pie spices. Press it in to an sprayed dish and bake. Let cool. Or simply use a ready made graham cracker pie crust from the store. It won’t have the same spices added, but should be similar in texture and general flavor.
Sweet Sour Cream Layer
Salted Caramel Layer
I used this amazingly delicious Trader Joe’s salted caramel sauce for this layer. You will never find me making a legit caramel. I have made a personal vow to never use a candy thermometer and the constant swirling (you don’t stir caramel – she’s such a diva) is too much for me. Feel free to make your own (here’s a great recipe) if you need to make everything from scratch. I simply heated a little bit of the sauce then used a funnel to put it in to a small squeeze bottle. This sauce is very thick straight out of the jar so I would suggest heating it a little even if you just wanted to use a spoon instead of a squeeze bottle.
Finally you can start to put these parfaits together. I know this seems like a lot but they are SO good! I used pretty large glasses/bowls. But really you can use whatever you want. I had some leftovers in a cereal bowl. Tasted just as good. Additionally, these would be super cute in mismatched jars when you are entertaining. Gather everything in one place to make assembling easy. I thought putting the creamy layer in a ziploc bag would make piping it in the dishes easier and less messy. I was wrong. I still managed to be messy. In my opinion a spoon would work just as well.
Feel free to layer them however you want! I started with the graham cracker crumbs, moved on to the creamy layer, spooned on some apples, swirled on a little (a lot) caramel and finished them with a little bit more of the graham crackers. These are not the prettiest desserts you will ever see but they will make your mouth happy. I stopped my layering there since the glasses were kind of wide. But if you used a more narrow vessel, you could certainly repeat the layers another time.
Creamy Caramel Apple Pie Parfaits are a crowd pleaser. They are sweet and creamy with the lightest little crunch from the cracker crust layer, and there is caramel. Everything is better with caramel.
Creamy Caramel Apple Pie Parfaits
Apple Pie Filling
- 4 1/2 cup chopped, peeled apples
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups water
Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in saucepan. Add the water. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Add the apples. Bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until soft but not squishy. Cool for at least 30 minutes. Or refrigerate overnight.
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 5 TBSP melted butter
Combine all ingredients and press in to greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake at 375 for for 8-10 minutes. Cool.
Sour Cream Layer
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 TBSP brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
In stand mixer, beat sour cream, cream cheese and sugar together until combined. Continue mixing.
Don’t forget the Trader Joe’s or other jarred salted caramel sauce!
Layer each component in jar, bowl or glass one at a time. I do not have a definitive yield for this recipe as it varies depending on the vessel used. I would say there is enough for at least 8 desserts in this recipe.