I am going to be honest, right from the start. I was not thrilled with this week’s choice. Oh, I love cheesecake. But, something about mixing my apple pie flavors with my cheesecake flavors didn’t sit with me. I chugged on, because, well, I created this event, I feel compelled to participate. And after all, it was not Jaime’s fault that the apple-cheesecake combo freaked me out. (The lovely Jaime of Good Eats ‘n Sweet Treats picked this recipe.) Putting aside how I felt, I knew Jaos was going to love it.
I actually got an early start, meaning Saturday rather than Monday night. The cheesecake was rather simple to make. It takes several steps, but they are all laid out very well by Dorie.
The only snag I ran into is, with the crust in the food processor and ready to be pressed into a pan, I found out that I had no roasting pan large enough to house my 10 inch springform. I was not running to target right that moment, so I reached for the 9 inch instead. It took a tad longer to bake, but otherwise, I didnt think the pan made a huge difference.
Oh, and when I went to check the cheesecake at the 1 hour 30 minute mark, it was not done. I put the foil back over, and let it go. The foil shifted on me, or I wasn’t careful enough putting it back on. It put a very endearing dent in the top. Isn’t it beautiful?
Verdict- Jaos loved it. I knew he would. Apple pie and cheesecake are his 2 favorite desserts. Now, for me, while I thought it looked fantastic, I was unsure. I even walked away before my piece was finished. Its not Dorie’s fault. I just don’t think I like apples in my cheesecake. Its a good cheesecake, a really good one. Its smooth, creamy, appley. It’s just not something I would order off a menu or something I would request. Jaos on the other hand may ask for it again. And I will gladly make it.
Please check out the TWD blogroll to see how the other ladies faired with this cheesecake. TWD is growing rapidly. We already have 30 members, which SHOCKS me!
Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake
Baking: From my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
For the Crust
30 gingersnaps (or a scant 2 cups graham cracker crumbs)
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
For the Apples
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter
3 large Golden Delicious or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
2 tbsp (packed) light brown sugar
For the Filling
1 1/2 pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
6 tbsp sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy cream
Apple jelly, for glazing, or confectioner’s sugar, for dusting (optional)
To Make the Crust: Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-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. (The crust can be covered and frozen for up to 2 months.)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
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 350 degrees F.
Getting Ready to Bake: Have a roasting pan large enough to hold the springform pan at hand. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
To Make the Filling: Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, 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 to 45 minutes, 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, possibly, in the very center–if the center shimmies, that’s just fine. Gently transfer the cake, still in the pan, to a cooling rack and let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it for at least 6 hours; overnight would be 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.