Not surprisingly, this cheesecake was extremely delicious. But I have yet to meet a cheesecake I didn't like! Well there was the Godiva chocolate cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory but I think I still ate that. (Which made me think I didn't like chocolate cheesecake but then I made this rich chocolate cheesecake that convinced me otherwise.) Anyway, this cheesecake is really creamy and luscious. It's like apple pie in cheesecake form, and since I'm not a big fruit pie person I would definitely go for this over apple pie any day! I will definitely be making it again.
The recipe suggests you cut the apples into eighths but I found the slices too fat (they weren't able to soften enough) so I'd just suggest slicing the apples a bit thinner. And to make it look prettier, I'd put additional apple slices on top of the cheesecake next time like Confections of a Foodie Bride. Also, make sure not to over bake the crust. I always want to bake it for longer than it says but this time it resulted in a super hard crust which I couldn't cut through very easily. I took this cake to serve at Easter dinner with my boyfriend's family (an indication of how far behind I am in posting food I've made!) and the slices ended up a mess because I couldn't get the crust to go with it. Once I got it home I was able to figure things out and chop through the hard crust though.
Abby loves sleeping behind the computer monitor. And yes we have our monitor propped up on the yellow pages!
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Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
For the Crust:
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
For the Apples:
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter
3 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
2 tbsp (packed) light brown sugar
For the Filling:
3 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp apple juice
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy cream
To Make the Crust:
Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. (I think I used a 9 inch springform pan.)
Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and whir until you have crumbs; you should have a scant 2 cups. (If you are using graham cracker crumbs, just put them in the food processor.) Pulse in the sugar and cinnamon, if you're using it, then pour over the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened. Turn the crumbs into the springform pan and, using your fingertips, firmly press them evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan as far as they'll go. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350F.
Remove the pan from the freezer and wrap the bottom tightly in aluminum foil, going up the sides. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is set and lightly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool while you make the apples and the filling. Leave the oven at 350F.
To Make the Apples:
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, toss in half of the apple slices and cook, turning once, until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the apples with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and cook them, turning, just until coated, another minute or so. Scrape the apples onto a plate, wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining apples. Let the apples cool while you make the filling.
Getting Ready to Bake:
Have a roasting pan large enough to hold the springform pan at hand. Boil a kettle of water.
To Make the Filling:
Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed, scraping down the bowl often, for about 4 minutes, or until it is velvety smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes. Beat in the cider, vanilla, and cinnamon. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Finally, beat in the sour cream and heavy cream, beating just until the batter is smooth.
Pour about one third of the batter into the baked crust. Drain the apples by lifting them off the plate with a slotted spoon or spatula, and spoon them into the pan. Cover with the remaining batter and, if needed, jiggle the pan to even the top. Place the springform pan in the roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours (I baked mine for 2 hours), covering the cake loosely with a foil tent at the 45-minute mark. The cake will rise evenly and crack around the edges, and it should be fully set except it will jiggle slightly in the center. Gently transfer the cake to a cooling rack, remove the aluminum foil and let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it for at least 6 hours; overnight is better.
Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the crust, open the pan's latch and release and remove the sides.