I'm usually not much of a dessert person. In fact, I prefer a cheese course after dinner when I eat out. But if I see a good apple dessert on the menu, I may reconsider that choice.

While I love apple cake and apple pie, my apple dessert of choice is Apple Bavarian Torte. My mom has been making this tasty creation for more than 40 years. Since I'm not a huge pumpkin pie fan, she usually makes it for me on Thanksgiving.

What is Apple Bavarian Torte, you may ask? It's almost like apple cheesecake: it features a shortbread-like crust topped with a sweetened cream cheese layer, a pile of apples and sliced almonds.

When I suggested making the recipe I grew up with a bit healthier, I was worried about messing with perfection. But since the classic Apple Bavarian Torte recipe has good bones to begin with, it wasn't terribly hard.

It's piled with 4 cups of sliced fiber-rich apples and toasted almonds, a good source of vitamin E. I added more almonds to the crust to increase its nuttiness and swapped whole-wheat flour for white.

All in all we shaved about 40 calories and 5 grams of added sugar from each slice. The tasters in our Test Kitchen loved it, and my mom was even impressed when I made it for her. One bite and you'll be sure to add it to your apple-recipe collection and perhaps even have a new holiday-season favorite too.

Ready to start baking? Click here for the recipe.