This dessert always comes as a wonderful surprise at the end of our Passover seder (after a little breather)...a creamy center chocked full of granny smith apples housed in a rich pastry crust which tastes remarkably like the real thing, even though it is made with matzah cake meal...a little goes a long way!
Food Editor’s Note: This is a dairy variation of Judy’s wonderful (and pareve) Apple Rustica in our Recipe File. This one is a light and creamy cheesecake in a buttery crust, with apple slices and walnuts throughout. (You can also just sprinkle the nuts on top.) Serve this cake cold or at room temperature. Absolutely delicious, and not your typical Passover dessert!
6 ounces unsalted butter
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups matzah cake meal
1 1/4 pounds cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
2 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
2 cups apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 2 large apples)
1/4 cup walnuts for sprinkling on the top
1/4 cup walnuts to add to the batter (optional)
handful of white raisins to add to the batter (optional)
cinnamon and sugar mixture
Have ready a 9-inch spring form pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
To make the crust, place the sugar and the cake meal in the bowl of a food processor. Process several seconds. Distribute the butter over the surface of the mixture and process until the dough comes together. Pat the dough into the bottom and 3/4 of the way up the sides of the spring form pan. Bake the crust for 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth in mixer or food processor, scraping sides of bowl. Add the sour cream and heavy cream and beat until smooth. Add eggs, lemon juice, and lemon rind and mix or process until blended. Fold in the apples, and the raisins and walnuts if desired. Sprinkle walnuts on top and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar generously over the top.
Bake until set and tester comes out fairly dry, at least one hour (and up to 1 1/4 hours). Remove from oven, let cool, and refrigerate. When ready to serve, release the sides of the pan gently and transfer to a serving platter.
Judy Rosenberg opened the first Rosie’s Bakery in Cambridge, and now has additional stores in Chestnut Hill and Boston’s South Station. Rosie’s Bakery has won so many Boston Magazine Best of Boston citations that it is now enshrined in their Hall of Fame. Judy is also the author of Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter, Fresh Cream, Sugar-Packed, No-Holds-Barred Baking Book, winner of an IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award, and Rosie’s Bakery Chocolate-Packed, Jam-Filled, Butter-Rich, No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book.