Easier Than Pie

The holidays have a way of leaving some (most?) of us feeling a bit drained and ready for a little quiet. But that doesn't mean we're ready to say goodbye to dessert, although maybe a little less in the way of holiday excess is okay. I myself love a piece of warm apple pie on a cold January evening, but I also find my energy levels right about now are just not set up for making pie from scratch. That's where quesadillas come in.

Stick with me. Instead of traditional savory quesadillas oozing with cheese and served with salsa, I'm taking dessert quesadillas brimming with cinnamon apples and caramel. The outer edges of the tortilla end up crisp and warm and the filling makes me think of apple pie. Another drizzle of caramel on top isn't necessary, but is a welcome treat.

You can use pears or even softer fruits as fillings for these pie-inspired quesadillas, but there's something about the comfort food that is apple pie that makes my heart swoon when I start making these. Also, do yourself a favor and make a double or triple batch of filling and keep it in the refrigerator for when pie-cravings hit. Instead of the 15 minutes it takes to make normally (an eternity, I know), they can be done in about 5 minutes!

If you're so inclined you could also serve these sweet treats with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. I recently made a batch of cinnamon-kissed whipped cream and it was amazing spooned over it. So grab your skillet. It's easier than pie!

Apple Pie Quesadillas

  • 4 T. butter, divided
  • 2 tart baking apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2 T. granulated sugar
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 large flour tortillas
  • 1/4 c. caramel sauce, warmed plus more for garnishing
  • 1 c. cinnamon sugar

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the sugars, nutmeg, and cinnamon and cook the mixture until it is soft and caramelized, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

To assemble a quesadilla, spread the caramel sauce over one tortilla. Top the sauce with the cooked apples and then the second tortilla.

Wipe the skillet clean and melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the quesadilla and cook, flipping halfway through, until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Immediately coat both sides in cinnamon-sugar. Slice the quesadilla into 4 sections and stack two sections together per serving. Serve warm drizzled with more caramel sauce.

  • Yields: 1 quesadilla (each quesadilla is 2 servings)
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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