Award-Winning Apple Cream Pie

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Ingredients 

1 (14.1 oz) pkg refrigerated pie crusts, at room temperature 

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened 

1/3 cup white sugar 

1 large egg 

1/2 tsp grated lemon zest 

1/8 tsp salt 

4 lrg Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored, and thinly sliced 

1/2 cup packed brown sugar 

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 

1/2 (7 oz) pkg almond paste 

3 Tbs apricot jam 

Directions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Unroll 1 pie crust on a work surface. Cut out 2- to 3-inch hearts (or desired shape) with a cookie cutter. Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. 
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until light golden brown, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool. 
  4. Mix cream cheese, white sugar, egg, lemon zest, and salt in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. 
  5. Mix sliced apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. 
  6. Unroll the second pie crust in an ungreased, 9-inch glass pie plate. 
  7. Roll almond paste into a thin, 7-inch circle between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper and turn the almond paste circle into the crust-lined pie plate; gently press into the pie crust and remove the waxed paper. Spread cream cheese mixture over almond paste and arrange apples in a circular pattern over top. 
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until filling is set and slightly puffed, 40 to 45 minutes. 
  9. Microwave apricot jam in a small, microwave-safe bowl, uncovered, at medium power (50%) for 1 minute. Brush over apples. Top with heart cutouts. Cool until filling sets, about 1 hour. 
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