Royal Austrian Desserts: Sage Apple Cheesecake

| December/January 1995

Serves 12 to 16
Sage adds a subtle undertone to the spicy apple filling in this rich, creamy cheesecake.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk

Apple-Sage Filling

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 three-inch sprig sage
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

Cheesecake Filling

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the flour and salt for the crust. In another bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla to the butter and beat until creamy. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk and mix well. Form the dough into a ball. Press it into the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F. With a fork, generously prick the dough in the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and lemon juice for the apple filling. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Add the apple slices, sage, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook about 10 minutes, until the apples are tender. Set aside to cool. Remove the sage and stir in the cornstarch.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese for the cheesecake filling until creamy while slowly adding the sugar. Add the lemon juice and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add the flour and beat well. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the butter and beat until smooth. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the springform pan on a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap the foil up around the sides. Spread the apple filling evenly over the bottom crust. Pour the cheesecake filling over the apple filling and spread evenly.
  3. In a bowl, mix together all the topping ingredients except the butter, then work in the butter until the mixture reaches the consistency of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cheesecake filling. Set the springform pan in a larger pan. Fill the outer pan with hot water to a depth of 1 inch. Bake 80 to 90 minutes, or until the top is golden and the center is firm. Remove the pan from the water bath and place it on a wire rack. Cool the cheesecake to room temperature in the pan. Refrigerate it for at least 2 hours before serving.

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