Northeast Times

Apple cheesecake

Apple cheese­cake

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.

APPLE CHEESE­CAKE

CRUST

2 cups ground gra­ham crack­er crumbs

3/4 cup ground wal­nuts (re­serve ¼ cup for top­ping)

2 Tb­sp. each melted but­ter and sug­ar

FILLING

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 

TOP­PING 

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)

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