Friday, October 11, 2013

My Guilty Pleasure, #LetsLunch

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.

Cheesy Apple

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?

This post is part of #LetsLunch, a monthly Twitter party on a given subject. This month's theme is Guilty Pleasures.

Annabelle‘s Figs and Ricotta With Honey at Glass of Fancy
Anne Marie‘s Breakfast Club Sammy at Sandwich Surprise
Betty Ann‘s Purple Yam Jam at Asian In America
Emma‘s Homemade Biscuits & Sausage Gravy at Dreaming of Pots and Pans
Grace‘s School Cafeteria Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars at HapaMama
Linda‘s Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Raspberries & Lemon-Scented Cream at Spicebox Travels
Linda‘s Cheesy Puffs at Free Range Cookies
Lisa G‘s Mars Bar Slice at Monday Morning Cooking Club
Lisa K‘s Nutella Cookies at The Little Good Ride
Lucy‘s Velveeta Apple Casserole at A Cook and Her Books
Margaret‘s Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes at Tea and Scones
Tammi‘s Healthy SPAM at Insatiable Munchies

Text and images copyright 2013, Lucy Mercer.


Betty Ann @Mango_Queen said...

I'm going to just dive into this casserole of apples if it were infront of me right now! Oooh we would love this one at the table. Can I use fresh apples instead? Thanks for sharing and doing #LetsLunch with us!

Emma said...

Oh wow, so decadent!

A Tiger in the Kitchen said...

This looks AMAZING! I have a secret love for Velveeta...this is going to be my new guilty pleasure!

Unknown said...

Oh wow, this is new to me. How fun, Lucy!

Unknown said...

I've never seen fried apples, Lucy, and I thought I'd seen everything (just kidding)! This looks scrumptious and cozy, just perfect for a fall evening.

Sandwich Surprise said...

Wait a minute ... fried apples in a can is a thing?????? Where has this been all my life?

Unknown said...

Wow - never seen anything like this! Mouth is watering though....thanks for sharing such a delicious hot bubbling thing.

Unknown said...

I never knew that fried apples in a can was a thing either! What is Velveeta exactly? I've never had it. Love the idea of cheese and apple in a pie, though.

Grace Hwang Lynch said...

Wow, I've never seen anything like this, Lucy! But I do love some cheddar with apple pie.

TeaLady said...

Mom used to melt cheese ON her apple pie. What a good idea to put it in the crust!!