For Mother’s Day I wanted to make a treat for Reg’s mom Lorraine from the cookbook Taste of Nova Scotia Cookbook published by Nimbus Publishing. I wish I knew more about the history of this recipe but all it says is, “This torte cuts into firm slices, each studded with applies and is a fresh change from apple pie.”
I know how much Lorraine loves apples and the Annapolis Valley so I thought it was a good combination. She also likes her apples really soft so I used MacIntosh which for some reason refused to get super soft in the oven. A very unique recipe I have never come across before, definitely a change from traditional apple pie.
The Base: Cream together 1/2 cup softened butter with 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 tsp vanilla.
Add 1 cup of flour and stir until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Press into bottom and 1″ up the sides of a 9″ springform pan. Spread 1/2 cup of raspberry jam over the base.
Cheesecake Filling: Mix 1 cup of softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar together. Scrape down the sides until smooth.
Add 1 egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Keep scraping down until there are no lumps.
Spread evenly over base.
The Topping: Toss 4 cups of peeled, cored and sliced apples with 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. I started adding my apples to the top before coating so I just sprinkled some on top.
Arrange gently on top of the filling. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup slivered almonds. (Lorraine does not eat nuts so I skipped this part.)
Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 10 minutes. Reduced heat to 350F and continue baking for 30 minutes or until apples are tender. Cool and serve with whipped cream.
The cookie crumb crust was excellent and we all loved how well the apples went with the flavour of the raspberries. It ended up being a little messy, not as pretty as I wanted, but the flavours were great.
I kept the torte in the oven for 15 minutes longer than instructed because the apples did not look cooked through enough. I even left the cake in the oven after turning off the heat, hoping the residual heat would cook them through. Nope, still crunchy. What the heck? MacIntosh apples are known for going mushy. So that was very disappointing. Yes, I could have kept it in there even longer but at 350F, I was not entirely sure the bottom crust would not get burned.
Lorraine did like it but had issues with the apples, as I did. I thought it was a very interesting three-layered cake idea I had never quite seen before and I am glad I tried. If I decide to make this again (which I probably won’t, to be honest) I will saute the apples first.
When it comes to the cookbook, the back cover states the recipes come from popular inns, restaurant and homes around Nova Scotia but I did not get to hear the story about this dish. I do not understand going to all that work without leaving a note about whose kitchen it came from.
Sadly the entire book is like this and does not make me bond with it very strongly. It has classic recipes like Chow Chow but whose Chow Chow is it? I found that frustrating and alienating. It totally lacks the personal touch you would expect in a Nova Scotia cookbook. I don’t get it. They did the research, why did they not share it with their readers?
I give this recipe three out of five wooden spoons. It was tasty and creative but not mind-blowing. I think Lorraine would agree with me on this one.