Fall Fun + “Skinny” Apple Yogurt Cheesecake

19 Nov

BabyKef, CousinKef and I have made a little tradition out of apple picking. As previously noted, CousinKef is an amazingly-talented nutritionist who has her finger to the pulse of the local health food scene (ask her about her illegal unpasteurized milk circle!). As such, we have headed to her favorite minimally-chemicaled pick-you-own spot, Larriland Farm.

Last year, we picked beets to our little hearts’ delight. This year, the broccoli was just waiting for us to come and take it home. Obviously, before we could get down to the business of actually harvesting broccoli, we had to spend about 35 minutes taking absurd pictures of ourselves with surrounded by fields of green. As one does.

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Once we got that out of the way, we were free to scoop up all the broccoli and apples our arms would carry out. Which, for the record, is a whole lotta broccoli.

We’ll get to the broccoli in a day or two (hint: it’s a broccoli and hazelnut soup!), but today it’s all about the apples. Previous psychoanalyses have surfaced the plight of the butternut in light of pumpkin-mania and modernity’s tendency to totally disregard chestnuts as a thing of the past– but who is examining the implications of apple’s fall from grace as the original fall fruit? Sure–some superstar hybrids have kept the apple brand afloat (honeycrisp! pink lady!), but until I see Facebook posts by the hundred thousand squealing about the hot apple cider someone just overpaid for at Starbucks, I’m going to continue worrying about my homestate’s most delicious produce export.

To keep the love alive, I decided to make this  apple cheesecake, made with (what else?) Greek yogurt. I liked this a lot- it was un-sweet enough to qualify as a breakfast food and definitely tastes like fall. I will say, however, that it definitely has that “skinny” taste– as in, “I just made the most awesome skinny version of cheesecake” which is, of course, very different from “I just made a cheesecake.” So if what you want is a healthy-ish fall food that won’t put you in a coma, try this.  If you want a cheesecake… make a damn cheesecake.

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“Skinny” Apple Yogurt Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the Crust

For the filling:

  • 2 c plain Greek yogurt (do yourself a favor and just use Fage)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c sugar (I used coconut sugar– can’t tell you how sweet it will be with regular sugar)

For the topping:

  • 4 medium apples, cored and chopped
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Assembly

1. Preheat oven to 300F if you’re using the grainless grahams or 350F if you’re using the regular grahams and butter. Line a metal baking pan with parchment paper (9×9 if you’ve got a square one, otherwise mine fit in a deepdish round)

2. Prepare your crust. Either follow instructions for the dough of the grainless grahams AND DO NOT BAKE YET or stir the cookie crumbs and butter together.  Press whichever crust you’re using evenly into the bottom of your lined pan to form the crust.  For the grainless, bake at 300 for 15-20 minutes or until set and just turning golden brown. For the regular grahams, bake at 350ºF for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. If you’ve made the grainless kind, turn the oven temp up to 350F once you’ve taken the crust out of the oven.

3. While the crust cooks, beat together the yogurt and eggs. Then add the cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar and stir until smooth. In a separate bowl, stir together the apples and 2 tsp cinnamon. Make sure all the apples get a nice coat of cinnamon. When the crust is cooked and cooled, pour the filling over the crust and even it out with a spatula. Distribute the apples evenly over the yogurt.

4. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes, until the center is set and doesn’t jiggle.  Cool completely before serving. I found this was best after resting overnight. Enjoy!

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