Recipe for apple cream-cheese tart

–Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe

Serves 8

Something like a cheesecake, this apple tart features sauteed slices of fruit topped with a layer of vanilla cheesecake. To reduce chances of the cheesecake cracking on top, beat the batter at low to medium speed just until blended. Cortland apples hold their shape when cooked and work well.

CRUST

Butter (for the pan)¼cup pecans1cup graham cracker crumbs1tablespoon sugar¼cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.

2. On a small rimmed baking sheet or pie pan, spread the pecans in a single layer. Toast for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Leave the oven on. Let the nuts cool; chop finely.

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3. In a large bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar, and butter. With a large rubber spatula mix until evenly blended. Transfer the mixture to the pan and press evenly onto the bottom.

TOPPING

1½tablespoons unsalted butter2medium Cortland apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced2tablespoons dark brown sugar½teaspoon ground cinnamon¼teaspoon ground ginger⅛teaspoon ground nutmeg⅛teaspoon ground cloves2packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature⅔cup granulated sugar2eggs1teaspoon vanilla extract 1cup heavy cream

1. In a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apples and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Cook, turning often with a large spoon, for 5 minutes or until the apples are just tender. Spoon the apple mixture evenly over the crust.

2. With the mixer at medium-low speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, and cream until evenly blended. Pour the mixture over the apples.

3. Bake the tart for 35 minutes or until the outer edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly.

4. Set the pan on a wire rack. Cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

GARNISH

2tablespoons unsalted butter1medium Cortland apple, cored and chopped3tablespoons dark brown sugarPinch each of ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves

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1. In a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apples and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Cook, turning often with a large spoon, for 5 minutes or until the apples are just tender.

2. Cut the tart into wedges. Spoon the apples and sauce over the top. Jean Kressy

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