Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
The creamy cheesecake center and the crunchy topping make a delicious marriage of taste and texture.
- 1 1⁄4 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1⁄4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 lemon, zest of, only
- 3⁄4 cup slivered almonds (coarsly chopped)
- 1⁄2 cup cream cheese (softened)
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 lb apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (braeburn, gala or rome)
- Heat oven to 350°.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper into a 9x14 rectangle and line a 9x9 baking pan with it, allowing the ends to extend over the edge.
- Butter the parchment paper and the sides of the pan that are exposed.
- Set aside 2 tablespoons of flour in a small bowl.
- Whisk together the remaining 1 1/4 cups of flour and salt in a small bowl, set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the cream cheese and almond extract, beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add 1/4 cup each of sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium speed until blended.
- Add the flour/salt mixture and 1/3 cup of almonds.
- Grate the zest one lemon.
- Reserve 2 teaspoons of the zest, add the rest to the mixture and beat on low just until the four is absorbed and the mixture starts to clump.
- Set aside 2/3 cup of dough in another bowl and press the remaining dough into the bottom of the 9x9 lined pan.
- Prick the dough all over with a fork.
- Bake until the crust is golden, especially around the edges, approximately 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven but leave the oven on.
- While the crust bakes, add 2 tablespoons of the reserved flour and 2 tablespoons each of sugar and brown sugar to the reserved dough.
- Mix with fingertips until combined and somewhat clumpy.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer.
- Add egg, beat until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Beat in 2 teaspoons lemon zest, lemon juice and salt.
- Spread apple slices over the bottom crust and pour the cream cheese mixture on top.
- Spread gently to cover apples.
- Crumble the remaining dough on top.
- Sprinkle with remaining almonds.
- Bake until topping and almonds are lightly browned, approximately 40 minutes.
- Allow the bars to cool in the pan on a wire rack until just warm.
- Remove from pan using the extra parchment as handles and set on the wire rack to finish cooling.
- Transfer, still on parchment, to a cutting board.
- Slide a long metal spatula between the bars and parchment to separate them.
- Slide the parchment from the bottom of the dessert.
- Cut into 16 equal sized squares and serve.