Friday, November 20, 2009

Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

Apple CheesecakeI love cheesecake. But apple cheesecake is not my favorite. With that said, I was up for the challenge to come up with a recipe that worked for me. Let's just say my first venture into the land of apple cheesecake was a complete disaster. I used Granny Smiths and sautéed them much like this recipe calls for. But the apples were still too moist, allowing their juices to mix into the cheesecake batter making for a gloppy mess. This time was different thankfully.

Apple CheesecakeI adapted my base cheesecake recipe with some added brown sugar, apple pie spice (usually a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice) an d apple cider. The apple cider gave it a hint of apple flavor but the star of the cheesecake are the apples themselves. A surprise layer of sweet and caramelized apples are hidden inside this cheesecake. They came out tender and didn’t mess with the texture of the cheesecake batter.

Apple CheesecakeI used Fuji apples this time and I was pleasantly surprised. They don’t fall apart in the frying pan, they hold their texture and even caramelize beautifully with a little added brown sugar. These are my new favorite cooking apples.

Apple CheesecakeThe ginger snap crust was great with some added cinnamon and brown sugar. Although the cookies are strong flavored, the crust didn’t overpower all the other flavors.

Apple CheesecakeOverall, this cheesecake is a winner. But now I want to try the recipe with the apples ON TOP of the cheesecake, drizzled with some caramel sauce. That sounds even better.

Printable Version

4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese

1 c. brown sugar

½ c. white sugar

¾ c. milk

4 Tbs. apple cider

4 eggs

1 c. sour cream

¼ c. all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons apple pie spice


4 tablespoons butter, divided

3 large Fuji, peeled, cored and cut thinly, divided

2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided


1 ½ c. ginger snap cookie crumbs

2 Tbs. brown sugar

4 Tbs. melted butter

½ tsp. cinnamon



For the Apples

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high. Stir in half of the apples and cook, until they are golden and limp, about 5 to 10 minutes. Scatter the apples with 1 tablespoon brown sugar and cook, tossing to coat, for 1 minute. Scrape apple mixture onto a plate and repeat with remaining apples, butter and sugar. When done, set aside to cool.

For the Crust

In a medium bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Drizzle in butter and stir to moisten the crumbs. Scoop crumbs into a spring form pan coated with nonstick spray and firmly press them over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place pan into a preheated oven at 350 degrees and cook for 10 minutes, until the edges are golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the Filling
  1. Triple wrap bottom of spring form pan with the wide version of Reynolds foil.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix cream cheese with sugars until smooth. Blend in milk and apple cider, and then mix in eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, apple pie spice and flour until smooth.
  3. Pour about a third of the filling into the prepared crust. Add the apples as an even layer, and pour the rest of the filling on top.
  4. Use a water bath for the cheesecake. Put spring form pan in larger rectangular pan. Set in oven, and add water until about 1-2 inches high on spring form pan.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave cheesecake to cool, about 2-3 hours, to prevent cracking from cooling down too fast. Then remove from oven and set on counter to finish cooling to room temperature.


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