This is a spin on the traditional apple galette, but it’s a version you’ll love. This recipe makes four smaller apple cheesecake galettes, instead of one big galette. A filling of caramel ginger apples, nuts, and luscious vanilla cheesecake are hugged by pie crusts just like a regular galette, only these are scaled down to be very generous single servings — or galettes for two on date night.
These apple cheesecake galettes really are simply amazing!
You Had Me At “French”
A galette is a French term for rustic, freeform baked goods like pies, cakes, and breads. Until I researched this, I didn’t know about any galettes except the fruit ones that are basically pies where the pie crust serves the purpose of a pie dish (i.e. to keep all the good stuff inside). The cake and bread galettes were new to me. Now that I know about them, there’s a pretty good chance I may have to try my hand at them in the near future.
About 8 years ago I became obsessed with French culture. I finally had the time to study the language and I read as much about life in France as I could. The movie Julie & Julia has always been a favorite of mine (because events take place in France AND New York — my all-time favorite city for movies). So when I had the chance to make an apple galette, I said “Bien sûr!” (that’s “Of course!” for non-Francophiles).
An Apple Galatte By Another Name
The French name is what hooked me on making an apple galette. However, an apple galette is nothing more than a freeform apple pie. I’m not a super fan of apple pie and my husband hates it (see my layered apple pie recipe to see how I got around that obstacle). Coming up with an apple galette we’d want to eat was a challenge.
Creating An Apple Galette When You Don’t Love Apple Pie
I admit I was stumped about how to make a galette I’d want to eat. Eventually, the idea of cheesecake came to me. I wasn’t sure if apples are a fruit that works with cheesecake, so I did a little research. It turns out apple cheesecake really is a thing and I wasn’t out of line with my logic.
Apple galette with cheesecake steers things in more of an apple danish direction and I do like apple danish. So an apple cheesecake galette it would be.
I felt like I was on the right track with this, but it still needed more.
The Go-To For Texture: Nuts
I still have crushed nuts left over from my layered apple pie — a mixture of walnuts and pecans. Both nuts work with apple pie AND with cheesecake, so it was an easy decision to include them in the ingredients for this apple cheesecake galette.
Which Way To Go With Spices
At first I was planning to go the cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, ginger, allspice route for my apples. The traditional apple pie spice lineup. But in my brain, those spices weren’t going to mesh well with the flavor of the cheesecake I love making.
I debated using honey instead of brown sugar for the sweetener, but honey with the cheesecake didn’t work for me either.
Then I remembered it — caramel!
Caramel and cheesecake go together quite nicely. I had my sweetener for the apple cheesecake galette. And I’d be using jarred caramel to save myself some time.
Still Missing That Je Ne Sais Quoi
I still didn’t feel like I was quite there. Something was still missing. I just didn’t know what. So I did some Googling and learned a curious thing: ginger is a spice that pairs well with caramel.
That’s not an association I would have made in my culinary imagination (ginger and honey, yes). I decided to use ginger as a spice for the caramel sauce, but also in the form of ginger sugar to sprinkle on the galettes before they went into the oven.
Now that the texture, sweetener, and spice issues were settled, I selected Fuji apples as the star of the show. My apple cheesecake galette was ready to happen.
It Was Always Going To Be Premade Crusts
Pie crust is something I don’t enjoy making *at all* because I don’t make good pie crusts. It’s one of those things I’ve never gotten the hang of (like biscuits — I just can’t seem to make good biscuits). So I’m very thankful there are companies that make pie crust I can buy — this would have been a much more stressful apple cheesecake galette recipe if I had to make the pastry for this galette.
If you do possess mad skills when it comes to pie crust pastry, go for it. I’d do it if I could. But I believe in the life philosophy “Know your limits. Honor and respect them.” There’s a difference between challenging myself and doing something I know I’m going to mess up!
Why is “Mini” In Quotes?
I have to keep putting the word “mini” in quotation marks because these apple cheesecake galettes turned out bigger than what I would consider the size of a single serving for a dessert.
You either have to plan to make one of these a meal replacement (don’t think I haven’t eaten dessert as an entire meal before) or to share with someone (these would be great as a finishing touch for a Date Night meal).
I just wanted to be sure to clarify that these aren’t what I would consider true mini galettes.
Storing and Freezing Apple Cheesecake Galettes
Since I’ve never made these before, I don’t have firsthand experience in this area. But the rule of thumb on the internet seems to be that apple pies can be kept at room temperature for up to two days, plus an additional two days in the fridge.
However, this does contain cheesecake and conventional wisdom (not to mention food safety) recommends refrigerating cheesecake for up to a week. So that means the proper storage for an apple cheesecake galette is in the fridge, covered loosely with plastic wrap, and probably for just a few days.
As far as freezing goes, I was surprised to learn that cheesecakes only keep in the freezer for a maximum of two months — after that the flavor isn’t the best. If this were an all-apple galette, it would get three months in the freezer.
But it’s a known fact that the weakest link makes the rules, so this apple cheesecake galette should only stay in the freezer for two months, max. The suggested method is to place galettes on a baking sheet to go into the freezer until the galettes are frozen. Wrap each galette well in plastic and then place them in freezer bags.
Apple cheesecake galettes can be frozen in both unbaked and baked states. If the galettes are frozen unbaked, then the baking instructions are a little different and will be noted in the recipe card.
Making “Mini” Apple Cheesecake Galettes
“Allons y!” (Let’s go!)
The first thing I did was prepare the apples. I went with Fuji apples because I wanted a little bit of tartness since I prefer tart caramel apples. But any “apple pie” variety of apple will work. Next time I think I may go full Granny Smith for this recipe.
Wash, core, quarter, and fan cut the apples.
I was on the fence about whether or not to peel the apples. At the last second I left the skins intact, going for more of a “rustic” feel for the galette.
I also cut these really thin and It ended up being a little too thin for my liking later on. Next time I’ll cut the quarters into slightly thicker slices.
I sprayed the inside of a measuring cup with some cooking spray before using it to measure out a cup of caramel sauce (a trick I use when I measure honey, syrup, or molasses).
I coated the apples with it, using a rubber spatula to gently stir the apples and caramel. I wanted to avoid breaking the apple slices (another reason to leave them a little thicker cut).
Then I added ½ a teaspoon of ground ginger and stirred that in.
Originally I’d planned to cook the apples to soften them up, but because they were as thin as they were, I chose to leave them raw and let them soften while the galette baked.
I set aside the apples and turned my attention to the cheesecake filling.
My electric mixer doesn’t get to come out and play very often. A lot of times I can get by with hand mixing my recipes. But this was cheesecake I was making and I knew the right tool for the job was my mixer. Her moment had arrived.
In a small mixing bowl, add a package of softened cream cheese and granulated sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
I should have added the flour at the beginning, but I forgot. So I added it with the vanilla and mixed it in. The correction is in the instructions.
Then I added a beaten egg and a little heavy cream and mixed for another minute to make sure the filling was nice and smooth.
Step One of this recipe really should have been “Get the pie crust pastry to room temperature” because when I pulled it out of the fridge, it was still too cold.
I put the apples and cheesecake filling in the fridge, put the pie crusts on the counter, and found something to do with myself while I waited for the physics process of thermal equilibrium to take effect (as Sheldon Cooper might say on The Big Bang Theory).
One of the things I did while waiting was make the ginger sugar. I definitely see me using this for all sorts of things from now on because it’s really good!
Once the pastry felt like it was room temperature (which is to say, I got sick and tired of waiting), I unrolled the first one.
At first I’d scoffed at all the galettes I’d seen with the oh-so-carefully-ararnged apple slices. I thought “Ha ha, I’m NOT doing that — this will be a truly rustic galette I make!” I’ve finally figured out that “rustic” is another word for “lazy” when I use it to describe my cooking.
But as I was contemplating throwing apples haphazardly in the middle of the pie crust, it occured to me that arranging the apple slices in at least some semblance of order would create a base for the cheesecake filling to rest on. That made sense so I abandoned my “Go Full Rustic” plan.
Even though this would be at the bottom of the galette, and therefore not visible, I set about trying to make a presentable looking layer of apple slices. The first effort was less than awesome. I got better on the second galette (the one in the photo).
Then I spooned cheesecake filling into the apples and spread it out a little.
I added chopped nuts.
Another layer of apples. This layer will be seen, therefore, it has to look good!
And a final sprinkling of nuts.
The pie crust is obviously way too big as is. So I used a knife and trimmed it down so that I could fold the crust up, but the apples would still be visible.
I removed the excess pastry and then folded the crust up to create my first-ever apple cheesecake galette. I did expect the crust to fall back down and I was pleasantly surprised (over-the-moon-thrilled) when it stayed in place. By now I was thinking “Maybe I’m going to be able to pull this off!”
I used a very wide spatula to carefully put the galette on a baking sheet I sprayed with cooking oil.
Then I used a spray bottle with water to moisten the galette crust and I generously sprinkled ginger sugar all over it.
I did all of this three times to make the other galettes. Now they’re ready to go in the oven.
Bake these apple cheesecake galettes at 350 for 30 minutes and enjoy the smell that fills your kitchen. At the end of 30 minutes, this is the wonderful goodness that you’ll have.
The only thing to say here is “Ooo, la la — c’est magnifique!” (I think you can figure that one out.)
What to Serve With Apple Cheesecake Galette
If I’d had any caramel sauce left, I would have drizzled more over the galette for extra caramel-y goodness.
Obviously, vanilla ice cream or heavy whipping cream would be amazing to top this with.
Butter Pecan ice cream would even be a nice accompaniment since there are pecans in the galette.
My Honest Critique of My Apple Cheesecake Galettes
Overall, my apple cheesecake galettes were good. I’d give them a solid score of 7 or an 8 out of 10. But there are some changes I’ll make next time to land them a score closer to a 10.
I already mentioned that in the future I’ll cut the apples into thicker slices and I’ll use Granny Smith apples to turn the tartness up.
I’ll also use MORE apples. After I cut up three apples, it looked like a lot of apple in the bowl. Since I wasn’t cooking them before baking and there was going to be cheesecake in the galette, I thought I’d be okay with just three apples.
I should have kept going with the apple slicing because I did forget to take into account the fact that apples cook down while they’re baking. I ended up short changing my apple cheesecake galettes on the apple part. Next time I’ll use all six apples that I’d planned to use.
I’d probably put a little more cheesecake filling in each galette as well. I was trying to avoid the cheesecake mixture from running all over the place by being a little conservative. It hit me later that since the pie crust is folded up, even if the cheesecake did run a little, it would still be inside the galette and it would be okay.
These apple cheesecake galettes still made for a really tasty breakfast since my husband and I ended up having to be out for dinner after I baked the galettes and it was really late by the time we got home. Like I said, a 7 or 8 out of 10.
Not bad considering I’ve made things that were FAR worse (if negative stars were a rating, I’d have earned a few)!
- 6 apples
- 1 cup caramel sauce
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Two 14.1-ounce boxes of refrigerated pie crust pastry
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- Place boxes of pie crust on the counter to reach room temperature while prepping apples and making cheesecake filling.
- Wash, core, quarter, and fan cut the apples.
- In a large bowl combine the apples with the caramel sauce and ½ a teaspoon of ground ginger.
- Stir carefully with a rubber spatula to thoroughly coat the apples and mix in the ginger. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, sugar, and flour.
- Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and mix in.
- Add the egg and mix in for about another minute.
- Crush walnuts and pecans to make about half a cup.
- Make the ginger sugar by combining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar with ¼ of a teaspoon of ground ginger.
- Unroll one of the pie crusts.
- Arrange a layer of apple slices in overlapping circles until about 5-6 inches in diameter.
- Spoon about ¼ of the cheesecake filling onto the apples.
- Sprinkle with the crushed nuts.
- Arrange another layer of apple slices in overlapping circles.
- Sprinkle with more nuts.
- Using a knife, trim the pie crust pastry to a circle that is about 1 ½-2 inches larger than the apple circle.
- Remove the excess pastry and fold the pie crust up to form the galette. Pinch the pastry in spots to keep the crust in place.
- Use a wide spatula to transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
- Repeat the make the other three galettes.
- Moisten the top of the pie crust pastry and then sprinkle ginger sugar generously over the top of each galette.
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the baking sheet to a plate or rack. Like traditional apple pie, this can be eaten warm, at room temperature, or even chilled from the fridge.
If galettes were frozen unbaked, remove them from the freezer, bake at 400 for 10 minutes, lower the heat to 350, and continue baking for 30 minutes, keeping an eye to make sure the pastry doesn’t overbrown.
Minnetonka Orchards has many apple recipes to inspire you. Check out a few links below for ideas.