Bavarian Apple Torte
Bavarian Apple Torte is one of my absolute favorite desserts, combining cinnamon spiced baked apples with a creamy cheesecake layer and a crust that tastes like caramelized sugar cookie. Ridiculous, right? I mean why don’t we just throw away all the other apple recipes? This is perfection.
*AND* it’s super easy to make. Pictured above are the simple ingredients; incredible that this humble little group of basic pantry staples can achieve such extraordinary dessert stardom.
I know what you are thinking: three layers! That’s so much work. But, you’re wrong. (Sorry.) The first two layers, each with only 4 components, are made in the food processor, and there’s no need to wash it between the two. First, the crust is mixed up, which is basically like a sugar cookie dough. The ball of crust dough gets scraped out of the bowl, pressed into the prepared pan and placed in the freezer to chill while the filling ingredients get blended until smooth.
In the meantime, a couple of apples (the recipe says 4, but you could probably get away with 3) get peeled and sliced and then tossed with some cinnamon and sugar. I like to slice my apples really thin, so maybe that’s why I always end up with extra apples, if you slice yours thicker, then maybe 4 is more accurate. Either way, if you end up with extra cinnamon-sugar coated apples, they are great sauteed on top of…well, anything. (Or eaten right out of the bowl.)
Once the crust is chilled and filled, layer the spiced and sugared apples on the top, overlapping the slices to cover the entire filling. I start at the outside and work my way toward the center. DO NOT WORRY if it doesn’t look as good as you want it to as you begin laying out the apple slices. I have been doing this for many years and have seen countless messy-looking tortes be transformed in the oven into stunning baked masterpieces. (It’s a real Cinderella story, out of nowhere…)
Plus, you’re going to sprinkle sliced almonds over the top, anyway. If you don’t have (or like) almonds, you could leave them out or put something else on top. I have used dried cranberries before, any dried fruit would be delicious. Another note before baking: my spring-form pan is kind of loose due to old age, so I place it on a cookie sheet to bake so that the leaked butter doesn’t get all over my oven.
This torte is baked in a spring-form pan, which holds all the layers together and then is easily removed for a beautiful presentation. I suppose that the torte could be baked in a normal cake pan, it would just be messy to scoop out and serve. This very dessert is quite possibly the reason I ever bought a spring-form in the first place. If you are like me and need to get one to make this, you can order one right here.
Let’s talk about the crust. The crust of this Bavarian Apple Torte is thick, buttery and sweet, with a cookie-like texture. The pan that I bake it in is a 10 inch non-stick (dark) pan so the crust gets a dark caramelized flavor. If you are a fan of dark toast and burnt pizza crust, you’ll be in love with this flavor. If you don’t like a dark crust, use a lighter pan or lower the oven temp to 375.
There are several recipes online for Bavarian Apple Torte and they’re all pretty much the same, but I believe this one to be the best because I’ve doubled the crust volume (to make it in a 10 inch instead of 9 inch pan) and doubled the filling volume. Using the theory that more is more (and a 10 inch torte serves more than a 9 inch torte), by my careful calculations this torte is twice as good as those others. Don’t worry, I’ve done the math.
Confession: while doing some research online to find out what is Bavarian about this Torte, I actually realized I had been calling it by the wrong name for about 20 years. I was calling it a “tart”, when it is, in fact, a multi-layered “torte”. If you want to read more about the difference between a tart and a torte, you can read all about it here.
Most importantly, yes, it is as good as it looks.
And finally, here it is. The best Bavarian Apple Torte recipe.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (soft)
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eight oz. packages cream cheese, room temp
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 lg. eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 granny smith apples
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 10 inch spring-form pan.
- In a processor, blend butter, sugar and vanilla until combined. Add flour and process just until dough forms into a ball. Press dough on bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Chill 10-15 minutes in the freezer.
- Meanwhile, beat all filling ingredients together in processor. Peel and core the apples, then slice into 1/2 inch thick slices. Toss apple slices with cinnamon and sugar until coated.
- Pour filling into chilled crust. Arrange apples on top and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake for 1 hour. Cool and refrigerate at least 4 hours before cutting and serving. Enjoy!