Apple Cottage Cheesecake Bars
For the crust
|gluten-free graham cracker crumbs||1 1/4 cups|
|unsalted butter, melted||4 tbsps|
|packed dark brown sugar||1/2 cup|
|ground cinnamon||1/2 tsp|
|Pinch of sea salt|
For the filling
|cottage cheese||2 1/3 cups|
|Greek yogurt||1 cup|
|maple syrup||¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon|
|almond flour||2 tsps|
For the apple topping
|Granny Smith apples, peeled cored, and sliced||3|
|brown sugar||2 tbsps|
|melted butter||1 tbsp|
|lemon juice||1 tbsp|
|ground cinnamon||1/2 tsp|
|ground nutmeg||1/4 tsp|
Baked apples in autumn just feel right. They make the whole house smell incredible and festive with little effort. And while they’re so delicious on their own, we wanted to get a little experimental.
We love making cheesecake, but don’t love all the extra effort it takes to make a good one, which is why we went with cheesecake bars for this recipe rather than a traditional cheesecake.
This recipe is so festive and much higher in protein than a regular cheesecake.
- We baked the cheesecake alongside the apples to save time and rotated the baking dishes about halfway through so they would bake evenly. You could also add the apples to the oven about halfway through the cheesecake’s baking time since the cheesecake needs ample time to cool before you can top it with the baked apples.
- We used gluten-free graham crackers to make the crust but you can easily substitute regular graham crackers.
- We like Granny Smith apples for this for how the tartness balances the creaminess of the cheesecake, but you could also substitute Honeycrisp apples or use a combination of the two.
- For the crust, preheat the oven to 375. Line a 9-inch baking dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil with an overhang on at least 2 sides. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Mix all crust ingredients together in a medium bowl, making sure there are no chunks of graham crackers or lumps of brown sugar. Then pour the crust mixture into the dish and press into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake the crust for ten minutes, then remove it from the oven and let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, blend cottage cheese and Greek yogurt in a food processor until completely smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, and almond flour. Add cottage cheese mixture to the bowl and stir well.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350. Pour the filling into the baking dish and bake for one hour.
- For the apples, peel, core, and thinly slice apples. Mix the rest of the apple topping ingredients in a large bowl. Toss apples in the mixture, then transfer to a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove aluminum foil, then bake for another ten minutes.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before topping it with the apples. Refrigerate until cold, at least six hours, or overnight. Then use the foil overhang to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Cut into squares, wiping the knife clean after each cut with a damp cloth.
- Serve & enjoy!