Posted by: njbrown | November 6, 2011

Apple Cheesecake Tart


Apple Cheesecake Tart

I love leaf season, and this year, rather than going to the States to see fall color, my husband and I did a day trip to Algonquin Park – about 200 miles north of Toronto.  For lunch, we stopped at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario (where the G8 economic summit was held last summer).  On the dessert menu was “Nancy’s Tart.”  It’s not often that I see my name on a  menu, and it was described as having apples, maple syrup and a layer of cheesecake.   We couldn’t resist the temptation, and ordered one to share.  I love apples and I love cheesecake,  and the combination was lovely (but different from the usual apple cheesecake).  When we came home, I began to search for a recipe that would allow me to replicate it.  This one doesn’t call for maple syrup, and has a shortbread crust rather than a usual pastry crust, but I like it even better than Deerhurst’s.  This  recipe, description and instructional video are from Joy of  Baking.com:

“This lovely Apple Tart is an enticing combination of a shortbread crust, a cream cheese filling, slices of cinnamon-sugared apples, and a scattering of sliced almonds. It is delicious warm from the oven, when the shortbread is nice and crisp, the filling is soft and creamy, and the slices of apple are warm and fragrant.

“Shortbread makes a perfect base for this Apple Tart. I love its buttery flavor and crisp texture and it is so easy to make. The ingredients are simply placed in your food processor and pulsed until the dough starts to come together and form clumps. Then all you do is press the dough onto the bottom and about one inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of a buttered spring form pan. Next, the cream cheese filling. Again, the filling is made in the food processor and its flavor will remind you of cheesecake, albeit a little softer. Once it is poured over the uncooked shortbread crust, slices of cinnamon-sugared apples are mounded on top. The finishing touch is a scattering of sliced almonds. The tart is baked in a very hot oven for 10 minutes and then the temperature is lowered, and the tart is baked until the crust has nicely browned, the filling is set, and the apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. This tart is excellent warm from the oven, at room temperature, or even cold.

“I like to use Granny Smith apples for this dessert because of their year round availability and their tart flavor and crisp texture. However, if you are lucky enough to live close to an apple orchard or farmer’s market, be sure to try using other tart crisp apples. Some of my personal favorites are Mutsu, Golden, Rome, Stayman Winesap, Jonagold or Jonathan. You can also try mixing two or three varieties of apples for a more complex flavor.”

Serves about 8-10 people.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing)
  • ½ cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Filling:

  • One 8-ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping:

  • ¼cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups (1 liter) Mutsu (Crispin) apples – or the other varieties recommended, peeled and cut into ¼ inch (6 mm) slices (about 3-4 large apples)
  • ½ cup (50 grams) sliced almonds

Directions:

Apple Tart:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
  2. Butter, or spray with a non stick spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) spring form pan.

Crust:

  1. In the bowl of your food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and pulse to blend together.
  2. Add the butter and pulse until dough just begins to come together.
  3. Pat the dough onto the bottom and one inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the pan.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator while you make the filling.

Filling:

  1. In a food processor process the cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add the sugar and mix well.
  3. Blend in the egg and vanilla extract and process until smooth.
  4. Remove the crust from the fridge and pour in the filling.
  5. Return to refrigerator while you prepare the topping.

Topping:

  1. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  2. Spoon the apples evenly over the cream cheese layer and sprinkle with almonds.  (Rather than spooning the apple slices over the cheesecake mixture, I arranged them in concentric circles.)
  3. Place the spring form pan on a larger baking sheet to catch any drips.
  4. Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is brown, the apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, and the filling is almost set.
  6. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
  7. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve at room temperature. Leftovers can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated.

Read more: http://www.joyofbaking.com/AppleTart.html#ixzz1cySwj67w

instructional video:

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Responses

  1. Looks so festive, just in time for Thanksgiving. I bet the combination of apples and cream cheese is yummy! What about serving it with a maple syrup creme anglaise!


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