I made this tart, which is really a cross between a tart and a cheesecake, for a party. Huge hit! It’s apple season so why not make a rich and creamy dessert that features this most-loved American fruit?
Though this isn’t a true cheesecake, some of the hints in my Cheesecake – You crack me up! post are also relevant here. It is vital that your cream cheese and egg are at room temperature. You will get a lumpy mess if you try to make this without having the foresight to warm up your cream cheese and egg.
Apple Cheesecake Tart
(makes 1 9″ tart, serves about 12)
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup + 1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large apples (I like Honeycrisp but Jonathan or Cortland are also good)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, 1/4 cup sugar, a pinch of salt, and lemon juice. Gently stir in the flour until well blended.
Press the dough evenly into the bottom and at least 1″ up the sides of a 9″ non-stick springform pan. Refrigerate while you work on the filling.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
In a clean large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and brown sugar. When this mixture is fluffy and there are no lumps, beat in the egg and vanilla. Beat again until smooth.
Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/4″ slices.
In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup of sugar and cinnamon. Add the apples and toss to coat evenly.
Place the pan on a rimmed sheet pan (just in case your pan leaks). Pour the cheese filling into the tart shell. Gently cover with the apples, scraping out all the sugar and cinnamon. Move the apples around to cover the filling completely.
Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, and bake for another 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to release the crust. Release the springform but don’t try to take the sides off until the tart cools for 10 minutes. It’s just too hot to handle right out of the oven. When you remove the springform, if some pieces stick to the pan sides, scrape them off and put them on the top of the tart. It’s a rustic tart. No one will notice.
Allow tart to cool completely before serving. Once the tart is completely cooled you can remove the pan bottom by running a knife under the bottom crust and then carefully using a large flat spatula to release the crust all the way to the center. Gently slide the tart onto a serving plate. Or not, you can serve it on the pan. I do all the time!
This tart can be refrigerated overnight before serving. Any leftovers (yah, right) can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Recipe adapted from Apple Cookbook by Olwen Woodier, Storey Publishing, 2001.