If you have ever thought that cheesecake and apple pie might not go together, then this could be the recipe that changes your mind! Set in a cookie crust, this torte combines a creamy cheese filling with spiced apples and nuts for an absolutely delicious autumn dessert.
This recipe is another from the old Ron Paul’s restaurant in Portland. I have served this as a Thanksgiving dessert, but it’s good any time. The only change I’ve made to the original recipe was to halve the shortbread ingredients and have the crust only on the bottom of the torte versus up the sides as the recipe calls for. I’ve used both sliced almonds and walnuts for the nuts and both work well.
In spite of what looks to be an intimidating list of ingredients and steps, this torte goes together easily and more quickly than one might think. While the shortbread crust is chilling and then baking, both the apple topping and the filling can be prepared. The torte is then easily assembled and put back into the oven to bake. Surprisingly, the longest step is chilling the finished cake. Because the filling sets during baking though, the torte could also be served warm, if desired.
AUTUMN APPLE CHEESECAKE TORTE
For the shortbread crust:
- 8 oz. (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- pinch salt
For the cream cheese filling:
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
For the apple mixture:
- 3 tart apples, cored, peeled and sliced thin
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
For the nut mixture:
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or slivered almonds
- 1 TBSP brown sugar
Grease a 9″ springform pan. To make the crust, blend butter and sugar at low speed in mixer or food processor. Add flour and salt and mix until dough forms a ball. Press the dough on the bottom and up the sides of the pan, then place in the freezer until the dough is cold. While it’s chilling, preheat the oven to 350° and prepare the apple mixture. Core, peel and slice apples, then toss with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and lemon juice; set aside.
Bake the cold crust at 350° for 10-15 minutes, or until golden. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Cream together cream cheese and sugar until smooth, then add in the eggs and vanilla.
When the crust comes out of the oven, pour in the cream cheese filling, then top with the apple mixture (you can either arrange the slices in a pattern or casually place them on the top). Mix together the nuts with brown sugar and spoon over the apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the filling is set. The torte can either be served warm or chilled, with whipped cream if desired.