Meet the Cook: Our cheesecake-loving children (now 25, 22, 20 and 19) inspired this recipe I adapted from several others. It was a hit with them because the apples make it less rich and heavy. My family eats it anytime - for breakfast or as a late-night snack - and I serve it for dessert or when company comes for coffee. -Janice White, Encampment, Wyoming
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cold butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups sliced peeled tart apples
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- In a bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and vanilla; stir into flour mixture. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-in. springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 350°.
- Place apples in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until tender; drain and cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust. Toss baked apples with cinnamon and remaining sugar. Arrange apples over cream cheese layer; drizzle with any remaining cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle with nuts. Return pan to baking sheet.
- Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Remove sides of pan. Use a sharp knife to cut. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12-14 servings.
Originally published as Apple Strudel Cheesecake in Country Woman September/October 1997, p33
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