Heat oven to 350. Grease a 10" springformm pan w/ 1 tbsp soft butter. Sprinkle sides of pan w/ 1/3 cup panko crumbs. Microwave 1 tbsp butter in medium microwaveable bowl. Stir in remaining panko crumbs and 1 tsp fresh thyme.Set aside.
Cook pasta as direcetd, drain return to pot. In lg saucepan, melt 3 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add apples and cook 8 mins, stirring. Add flour, salt and peper. Cook, stirring for 2 mins. Stir in milk and apple cider. Cook, stirring until thick and bubbly.
Reduce heat to low. add both cheeses and fresh thyme. Stir until cheese melts. Add sauce to pasta and stir to combine. Spoon into pan. Sprinkle w/set aside panko crumbs. Bake uncovered 40 mins. Let cool before removing sides of pan. Fan out apple slices on top of casserole. Brush w/ melted butter. Sprinkle w/ dried thyme.