Food & Family

Thanksgiving, to me, means precisely two things: family and food.

I love the time spent at J’s family’s cottage, the fall leaves crackling underfoot, the obligatory sunset photo-shoot by the water. I love the posed family shots that are a mandatory Thanksgiving tradition; usually taking at least twenty takes, if not more. I love the mismatched tableware that is a result of more people than place settings. The ‘Would You Rather’ games that are a part of any event attended by my mom.

I love the failed pumpkin desserts of Thanksgivings past (the pumpkin mousse of 2009 still haunts me). The turkey brining in the vegetable crisper, because there is no other vessel big enough to hold the turkey, but small enough to fit in the fridge. The all-day marathon of cooking (which, if its being run by J, means that no one else can set foot in the kitchen). The heaping plates of vegetables, potatoes, turkey, and stuffing that get doused in a healthy slosh of gravy.

And I love experimenting with new sweet treats, knowing that with the sheer number of people around, almost anything will be eaten (except that damn pumpkin mousse).

Here’s this year’s creation. Enjoy.

unnamed(photo borrowed from, because my family devoured it too quickly for a photo)

Apple Crumble Cheesecake

2 cups crushed ginger snaps
1/3 cup oats
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

4 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
4 eggs
3 apples (I used Empire), peeled and sliced

3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp oats
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup butter, cubed

Mix together cookie crumbs, oats, brown sugar and butter, and press into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Mix in sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in cinnamon and ginger. Pour over the crust, and arrange sliced apples over the top.

In a small bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger for the topping. Add the butter, and cut in until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 60 minutes, or until the centre only jiggles slightly.

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