Happy Endings

I love cheesecake. I know I'm not alone either! But sometimes I crave just a little more than a cheesecake -- I want that smooth, creamy texture and something with a little crunch and that sweet crispness that accompanies a good torte. Impossible? Of course not!

In this month focused on love -- whether it be for your lover or your cheesecake -- I present to you Apple Cheesecake Torte. Actually, it doesn't have to be apple. It could be peach, berry, or even apple-cranberry. Just make sure that your fruit is of applesauce consistency; then any fruit sauce will work.

This delicious dessert combines some of my favorite flavors and textures in one. When you first start making it, it gives the impression that it's going to be a rich torte -- which it is. Then, you reach a creamy layer that makes you think of cheesecake -- which it is! Finally, you top it off with a traditional crumb topping associated with great coffee cakes -- which it is!!!

The key to making it turn out perfectly is testing it for doneness. If the center of the torte wiggles while you jiggle it, stick it back in the oven and keep checking it at least once every five minutes. After you've baked it to perfection, chill it for at least two hours before you serve it -- just like a cheesecake. I love serving the apple version of this with a steaming cup of apple-cinnamon tea. Yum!

Apple Cheesecake Torte

  • 1 pkg. yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 c. margarine, melted
  • 1 c. applesauce
  • 8 oz. low fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 c. applesauce
  • 1/2 c. margarine, softened
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. coconut
  • 1/4 c. pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and 3/4 c. melted margarine. Mix well until a soft ball forms. Press evenly into the bottom of a 9x13" glass baking pan. Spread 1 c. applesauce over the crust.

In the same mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Add 2 T. flour, egg, vanilla, and 1/3 c. applesauce and blend. Carefully pour over applesauce and spread evenly.

In a food processor, combine 1/2 c. softened margarine, 3/4 c. flour, and brown sugar. Process until coarse crumbs form. Add coconut and pecans and toss to mix. Sprinkle mixture over the filling.

Bake for 1 hour or until center of the torte doesn't jiggle when the pan is shaken back and forth. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

  • Yields: 9x13" chilled dessert
  • Preparation Time: 90 minutes, plus chilling time

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