This turned into an interesting treat for sure - kind of like a crusted thin cheesecake with a mess of sliced apples on top that were doused with cinnamon, sugar and almonds. The crust was a simple combination of butter, sugar, flour and a dash of salt - while it was a little soft, it was easily pressed into and slightly up the sides of a springform pan.
Softened and slightly sweetened cream cheese was mixed with an egg and a splash of floral vanilla to create the cheesecake-esque layer we spread over the top of the unbaked crust. A heaping spiral of the spiced and sugared apples were arranged on top, followed by a sprinkling of raw sliced almonds. This is baked at fairly high heat for the first few minutes to give the crust a jump start, then the temperature is reduced so the apples have a chance to soften without burning as there is no crust to protect their naked slices. Checking for doneness is a little tricky, but you are looking for the center of the cream cheese layer to be just set. Since it will need to be refrigerated anyway, I think you'll be fine if the center is still a bit soft. Depending on your oven, you may need to cover the top, though, if it looks like the almonds are getting too dark.
I used a combination of juicy Honeycrisp apples and crisp Granny Smiths for a tart contrast - you'll need about 4 cups worth, which is roughly the same as 4 medium. This duo retained their texture while baking, but still softened enough for a knife to glide through them. The crust to this torte is sturdy, yet buttery and tender - it is not flaky like a pie crust... more of a cross between pie crust and shortbread. Placing the first forkful into my mouth revealed an array of textures - the soft, spiced apples, the creamy cheesecake layer and the firm base were very a pleasing combination. We enjoyed this torte over a couple of days and froze the remaining slices to see how they turned out once thawed - the texture was just slightly different, but neither of us thought it was detrimental at all!
Bavarian Apple Torte