I had a lovely Thanksgiving that consisted of all the staples: Turkey, buckets of stuffing, mashed potatoes galore, the best green bean casserole on earth (no canned mushroom soup here), roasted sweet meat squash, and of course plenty of homemade cranberry dressing. Thomas' sister Rayne joined us out at my mothers. We spent the day (and most of the evening) drinking tea, lounging in front of a roaring fire, listening to soft music and playing games. It was such a delight to have Rayne with us this year, we both love her to pieces. Going out to my mothers is like going on vacation, you're out in the middle of nowhere (or at least it feels that way), it's quiet, and her house is so lovely it feels like you're at a fancy resort. Her house is practically all large windows (or at least that's what it feels like), and so you feel as though you're outside amongst nature, when in fact you're sitting in front of a roaring fire, on a plush sofa, covered in the softest of blankets, lounging like our pugs do. It's simply the greatest.
This year she asked me not to make a heavy dessert, since the dinner is always very heavy. I mulled it over in my head for about a week and finally said "Screw that, I'm making cheesecake". I knew she wouldn't object in the end, and she didn't. Pumpkin cheesecake is fairly popular option around turkey day because it reminds us of pumpkin pie (which I dislike anyway) in a creamier, sweeter sort of way. I've done pumpkin cheesecakes before, ginger snap crusts and all, but decided I wanted to combine MY favorite pie, apple, with cheesecake. I adore my apple pie because it doesn't have a top crust, I always top apple pie with a mixture of melted butter, brown sugar, flour and oats. It's like a crunchy yet chewy giant oatmeal cookie atop a sweet, tart, sticky apple center. I wanted the same flavors and textures but mixed with a cool, thick creamy vanilla bean cheesecake.
I really had no recipe, in fact, I did my apple pie upside down, in a way. I made my crumb topping except I added some additional flour and oats to bind it a bit more and make it more crust like and less crumbly. I cooked the apples in the same manor I cook them for apple pie. I then topped it all off with a creamy vanilla bean cream cheese mixture.
I'll post my crumb topping/crust recipe and the apple pie filling recipe. I won't post a cheesecake recipe as a lot of people seem to have their favorites and mine is a guarded family secret.
Recipe: Brown Sugar Oatmeal Crumb Topping (Or Cheesecake crust)
1/2 cup or 1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup of oats
1. Melt butter
2. Add sugar, flour and oats, mix thoroughly.
3. Top a pie, or press firmly into the bottom of a springform pan for crust.
Recipe: Apple Pie Filling
4 honeycrisp apples
1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 brown sugar
2 tsp. good cinnamon (adjust according to taste)
1/4 tsp. clove
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1-2 TBL. flour
1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan
2. Add apples, both sugars, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.
3. Cook this mixture over medium low heat for 10-15 minutes or until apples begin to soften and mixture caramelizes a bit.
4. Add flour to thicken. This should give you a nice mixture of apples and a cinnamon/sugary gooey sauce.
5. Add this to a pie shell or place atop oatmeal crust for cheesecake.
To make cheesecake, top with your favorite cheesecake recipe and bake according to cheesecake directions.