I grew up enjoying my mom’s fabulous fruit pies (am I unique, or what?), and although she never showed me much, she did attempt to teach me how to make a flaky pie crust. Years after her death, I revisited the technique and, with the help of her recipe box, I was able to recreate her wonderful apple pie, albeit a little less elegantly. But that’s not really the topic of this post.
As an avid cheesecake baker, I thought one day that it would be great to combine her apple pie with my cheesecake - the two seem so well matched (apple pie and vanilla ice cream - hey, great idea). So I made my standard cheesecake crust (a mixture of cookie crumbs and pecans, although I substituted walnuts here, and melted butter), pressed it into a buttered and parchment-lined 6 x 3” pan and baked it for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, I peeled and sliced a Granny Smith apple (my mom’s go-to apple), added some white sugar, a little flour and cinnamon and combined them thoroughly, then heated the mixture in a saucepan until it boiled and then let it simmer until the apples were soft. I then pulled it off and let it cool beside the already cooling crust.
Next, I made my standard vanilla cheesecake batter. When it was ready, I spooned some of the apple mixture onto the crust, enough to create a thin layer, then spooned the cheesecake batter over the apples. I baked the cake in a bain marie until done, then let it cool for a couple of hours before putting it in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, I removed the cake from the pan and made some fresh whipped cream, which I then piped generously around the edge. Finally, I filled the center with the remaining apples. The cake was incredible, according to my friends. My quadruple bypass prevents me from eating it!