Caramel apple cheese cake tart

Caramelised apples make a very impressive topping to a regular cheese cake.  Cooking the base ensures the biscuits don’t go soggy and there is a distinct separate layer between the two mixtures. Choose a medium fat cheese for a good flavour and texture.

The low fat varieties often make the cake watery.

METHOD

  1. Prepare base: Preheat oven to 200°C/ 400°F/ gas mark 6.
  2. Stir gingersnap biscuit crumbs and butter in a bowl until moist.
  3. Press crumb mixture on base and up sides of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 22 cm loose based cake tin.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes and then remove and set aside.
  5. Prepare filling: Whisk cream cheese, sugar, egg and mixed spice with an electric mixer until smooth.
  6.  Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared base and spread evenly.
  7. Bake at 170°C for 20 to 35 minutes or until centre is almost set.
  8. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 40 minutes). Chill 8 to 12 hours.

Prepare Topping:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add apples and sugar and cook, stirring often, 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove saucepan from heat, and cool apples completely (about 30 minutes).
  2. Arrange apples on top of chilled cheesecake in a decorative fashion.
  3. Microwave apricot jam in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 20 to 30 seconds or until melted.
  4. Brush apples with half of the apricot jam.
  5. Preheat grill with oven rack 15°cm from heat/ middle shelf.
  6. Grill tart 3 to 5 minutes or just until apples begin to brown.
  7. Remove from oven, and brush apples with remaining apricot jam mixture. Chill 1 hour before serving.

Ingredients

Base:

  • 200g finely ground gingersnap biscuit crumbs
  • 75g finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 50g butter, melted
  • Vegetable cooking spray

Filling:

  • 900g cream cheese
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice or cinnamon

Topping:

  • 800g Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 2cm thick wedges
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam

Preparation time: 40 minutes, cooking time: 1 hour 15 mins (Plus 8 to 12 hours  chilling time). Serves 8-10