One of the difficult aspects of food photography and writing is that often you have to write about food that at the time, is out of season. This July was no exception… I had to write about apples. Now lucky for me apples are a year round crop, but we all know that apples mean Fall.
I tried desperately to get into the Fall mood, but it was ever so hard when the temperature outside was 85F (though not as difficult as it was to do the Christmas cookie shoot in August!). I dragged out my Fall cookbooks (yes, my cookbooks are categorized by season as well as subject) to get some inspiration.
For the appetizer I looked no further than my own baking blog. I had a Blue Cheese Cheesecake with Onion Pear Jam that I wheel out every holiday season. It’s always a tremendous hit and so I thought I would play with that recipe to go better with the flavors of apples. What I got was a Manchego Cheesecake with Apple Onion Jam. The salty cheesecake plays nicely with the sweet and sour of the apple onion jam making your mouth a very happy camper.
This apple recipe, along with two others accompanies my article in the latest issue of Washington Travel and Life Magazine. If you are living in Washington State, you should be getting this magazine…after all, they were smart enough to hire me, eh?

Mini Manchego Cheesecakes with Apple Onion Jam
24 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3 oz shredded Asiago cheese
5 oz shredded dry jack cheese
8 oz shredded Manchego cheese
4 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ tsp pepper

Grease a mini cheesecake pan, this can also be made as one large cheesecake using a 9-inch springform pan.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream cheeses together until smooth.
Add eggs one at a time, beat for about 1 minute. Scrape down bowl after each egg addition. Add yolk and beat for an additional minute. Scrape down the bowl.
Add cream and pepper. Combine.
Pour batter into cheesecake pan.
Bake uncovered until golden brown and center is set. About 25-30 minutes for mini cheesecakes or 45-50 minutes for full size cheesecake.
Cool Completely, remove sides of pan.

Apple Onion Jam
3 cups Walla Walla onions, diced
1 tsp olive oil
1 ¾ cup Gala apples(Fuji will work as well) peeled, chopped
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Saute onions in oil until brown. Reduce heat and cook until glazed.
Add apples, vinegar, sugar, cayenne and salt. Cook till apples are crispy tender.
Remove mixture and simmer juice until a thick glaze.
Mix apple onion mixture with glaze. Cool.
Add a tablespoon of jam to each mini cheesecake or spread mixture over the entire cheesecake if making the full size version.