once you've tried it, you'll see all the ingredients work wonderfully together. it's great for entertaining, a fancy meal or just because.
definitely, a keeper :)
european-style apple torte
a nice addition to your baking repertoire, this dessert looks like you've put a lot of effort into something which really takes very little. measuring out most of your ingredients beforehand saves you time and simplifies the whole process — the only tedious part is peeling and cutting (and maybe placing?) the apples. the crust is also one of the easiest you'll work with as there is absolutely no rolling involved or prebaking!
1/2 c butter, soft
1/3 c sugar
1 pkg vanilla sugar, optional
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1 c all purpose flour
cheese layer ingredients:
1 pkg (8 oz/25o g) cream cheese, room temp.
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c sugar
apple layer ingredients:
2 large baking apples* (plus 1 extra, just in case)
1/3 c sugar
1/2 - 3/4 tsp cinnamon
*peaches can also be used instead; if using apples make sure they taste good and are the appropriate kind for baking (i always advise trying one before using — if they have little or no taste when eating them or the texture is mealy, chances are they'll be even less geshmak once baked and all will be for naught). i use either macintosh or cortland in this one.
**the final crust is like a shortbread due to its ingredients and manner of baking. it is baked once as a whole and patted in the pan rather than being rolled out.
1/4 c sliced almonds, opt.
you need a springform pan (8.5 inches)
make the crust by creaming together the butter, vanilla, sugar and salt. mix until well blended.
add the flour and mix only until blended.
place the dough in the ungreased 8 1/2" springform pan. the dough will be soft but very workable. you can chill it for a little while, if you wish but there is really no need to.
with your fingers and hand, pat and press the dough in evenly across the bottom of the pan and up the sides about 1 1/2 inches. make sure it is even. use the length of your index finger to press into the inner edge so that it is not too thick between the bottom of the crust and the walls of it.
make the cheese filling by mixing everything together in a medium sized bowl.
mix for about 2 or 3 minutes. it needs to be perfectly smooth and not grainy. this is why it is important to have the cream cheese at room temperature.
place the cheese filling in the unbaked crust.
smooth it all around. place aside.
preheat the oven to 450F at this point.
peel and slice the apples into 1/8" slices. it's important to cut them to the right thickness as the texture will be too chunky if they are thicker and you won't have enough apple slices
now the "hard" part: placement of the apples. there are two ways to do it — the "G-d give me patience" way or the
getting the apples to layer perfectly is a skill best learned through practice; it also requires patience as the apples don't always like to participate. so if you don't care or don't have patience, opt for method 2.
to layer the apples, it is done in 3 stages:
place the apples around the outer perimeter carefully, taking your time. when you get to the first apple you layered, lift it to add the last one.
repeat layer 1
you will only need a few apples for this one and it is the most difficult. play around with it a bit to make it look neat and presentable. (don't stress as it will be partially covered by the next step and covered in almonds, if using).
now mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
with a spoon, distribute the mixture evenly all over the apples.
at this point, you spread the almonds evenly over the apples. you can skip this if you like but it does add texture and taste.
bake for 10 minutes only @ 450 F and then reduce the heat right away to 400 F and cook for another 25 minutes.
remove and let cool completely.
gently run a knife around the cooled torte and release the spring siding.
let the torte sit several hours in the fridge for it to firm up properly. it is not ready to eat right after baking. best served slightly cold or at room temperature.
dust with confectioners sugar if you like or serve with whipped cream dollops.