The apple, the original forbidden fruit, was the choice fruit in the Garden of Eden. There are more than 7,500 varieties of apples grown in the world today. Eve ate one of them.
Why was Eve left alone in the Garden of Eden? Poor Eve was probably sitting in the shade of the apple tree wondering where Adam was. Where was Adam, anyhow? We all know that Sunday was a day of rest. NFL and college football didn’t exist. Nor was there golf, soccer, bowling, baseball, bars or Man Caves. Adam wasn’t a workaholic, yet. He must have gone fishing!
Wonder what kind of apple tempted Eve? It could have been the Red Delicious – the nicest looking apple. It’s now an American classic. Maybe it was the Golden Delicious, a really fine tasting apple as well as a good apple for baking, cooking and salads. It’s an all-purpose apple.
Eve may have been a little disappointed in the taste of the Rome apple, but it’s the variety I always look for when I’m going to bake an apple-something. Was it the now popular Gala apple, originally grown in New Zealand? Or perhaps, it was the good- tasting Fuji apple that originated in Japan. I doubt Eve was tempted by the green-skinned, crunchy Granny Smith apple, originally found in Australia. The McIntosh could have done it or the Jonathan. Or did she succumb to a Ginger Gold, a Braeburn or a Honeygold?
The apple sits at the core of history. Isaac Newton proved the apple an invaluable aid in the study of gravity. William Tell showed us a unique way to cut an apple in half. Johnny Appleseed planted enough apple seeds to keep the early settlers in cider and applejack.
The apple is a fiber-rich, healthy food. The saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” came from the medieval English saying, “Ate an apfel avore gwain to bed makes the doctor beg his bread.” Even way back when, people knew that apples were good for you. Eat them right off the tree like Adam and Eve, cook them into applesauce, make jelly or use them in salads, soups, breads, pies and cakes. If you like cheesecake and apples, get out your mixer and turn on your oven.
2 cups ground graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup ground walnuts (reserve ¼ cup for topping)
2 Tbsp. each melted butter and sugar
2 Tbsp butter
3 Rome or Golden Delicious apples (1 ¼ lb) peeled, halved, cored and cut in ½-in. chunks
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
Three 8-oz. bricks light cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 large eggs, at room temperature
¼ cup apple-flavored brandy (Applejack) or apple cider or apple juice
1 cup sour cream (can use reduced fat)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple-flavored brandy (Applejack) or apple cider or apple juice
Garnish: 1/4 cup ground walnut
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees
2. CRUST: Place walnuts in food processor; pulse until ground, (remove ¼ cup for garnish). Add graham crackers, butter and sugar to walnuts; pulse until ground together. Or put graham crackers and walnuts in heavy-duty ziptop bag and crush to fine crumbs with rolling pin. Stir in butter and sugar until blended, press crumbs firmly over bottom of pan.Coat 9 inch springform pan with nonstick spray.
3. FILLING: Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add apples. Stir occasionally. Cook 13 minutes or until pale brown. Stir in 2 Tbsp. sugar. Cook, stirring often, 5 minutes longer until apples are golden brown (be careful they don’t burn). Transfer to plate. Cool.
4. Beat cream cheese, remaining 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in large bowl with mixer on medium speed until smooth, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time just until blended. Reduce speed to low; beat in brandy and apples just to mix. Pour over Crust.
5. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until edges puff slightly and center still jiggles when shaken. Remove from oven.
6. TOPPING: Mix ingredients in small bowl. Pour evenly over filling; smooth surface. Sprinkle reserved ground walnuts around edge of cake. Bake 5 minutes at 450o
7. Place cake (in pan) on a wire rack. Carefully run thin knife around edge of cake to release. Cool completely in pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days. Remove pan side.
Eat well, live long, enjoy! ••
(Questions or tips can be sent to Donna Zitter Bordelon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Northeast Times, 2512 Metropolitan Drive, Trevose, PA 19053)