Monday, November 25, 2013

A Family Favorite: Danish Apple Cheesecake

Thanksgiving is upon us! In fact, we've already celebrated turkey day twice and are getting ready for the big day.  My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is the one in which we celebrate just as our little family.  We started doing this not long after we were married and it has been so much fun trying new recipes.  Usually, we do it and then decorate for Christmas, but this year we did it earlier and so that didn't happen. . . . bedtime did.  And, that's okay. . . really.  

But, one of my very favorite fall recipes is one that will look wonderful with on your dessert table, because there's always more than one, right?  This recipe is probably the recipe that someone calls, texts, or emails me for at least once a year, so I thought I would put on the blog (because I apparently haven't shared this with you yet) so that I can always find it and so can you.  

I know that pumpkin based desserts are kind of the spotlight of fall.  And I love me some pumpkin!  Really, I do. . . I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to it! But, sometimes you just need some apple. . . and cheesecake. . . and in this case, why not both?

The first step is to make your crust.  It's so yummy!  Combine your flour, sugar, and chopped almonds.  I just buy sliced almonds (it's a staple in my pantry) and chop them coarsely with my chopper. If you don't have almonds, walnuts work, too!
You can either do add your cold butter to your food processor or cut into pieces and take your fork to it for-ever.  I like to do it this way:  I freeze my butter, and then take my microplane and grate it.
It ends up looking so pretty and all curly like.  Then I take a fork and stir it together and eventually just get my fingers in and mix it all together by hand.  It's kind of messy on the hands, but it is well worth it!
Add almond extract (or vanilla).  This recipe is seriously adaptable. . . and so very delicious!
Pour it in the bottom of your springform pan.  Make sure you spray it down first because you don't want to have to dig your slices out afterwards. Pat it down flat.  Stick it in the fridge while you work on the filling and topping.
Cream your cream cheese filling until it is so soft and fluffy.
Spread it on the top of your crust. Stick it back in the fridge.
Cut those beautiful green granny smith apples (sorry, those are my favorites!).  I don't even bother taking the peel off.  I like the color that the green adds to it and isn't that where all the nutrients really are?  Toss it together with all the good stuff.
It should look like this.
Pour it over the top of your cheesecake filling and spread it around.
Doesn't that just look delicious!
Stick it in the oven and bake it.  You're house is going to smell amazingly.
Eat. . . it's delicious.  It's the best the first day, but it's still pretty amazing the next day. . . if it lasts.  

Danish Apple Cheesecake
Adapted from Taste of Home

1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped almonds (or walnuts)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
1/4 tsp almond extract (or vanilla)

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbs flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 cups thinly sliced apples
1/3 cup almond slices

In a small bowl, combine flour, almonds, and sugar.  Grate cold butter in and combine with your fingers until crumbly.  Add extract.  Pour crumb mixture into bottom of a greased spring form pan and press down until nice and flat.   Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
In another bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and cream of tartar until smooth.  Add egg.  Beat on low, until just combined.  Spread over crust.  
In a large bowl, combine apple slices, sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Spoon over the filling.  Sprinkle with almonds.  
Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen.  Cool for 1 more hour.  Refrigerate overnight for a firmer cheesecake.  It's still super yummy if served when warm.  

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