Tuesdays with Dorie: Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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

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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
3 tbsp apple cider
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)

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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.)

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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.

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.
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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.

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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.

33 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Dorie: Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake

  1. sounds like we had similar experiences…..and significant others with similar tastes…no matter your obstacles, it turned out beautifully! hopefully you’ll enjoy the chocolate next week.

  2. Your cheesecake looks great! The top turned out so smooth and pretty. I’m not a big cheesecake fan either (although I really liked this one), but like you, I have plenty of people to make it for!

  3. Your cheesecake looks great! I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the taste, but luckily Jaos loved it, so you know it won’t go to wasteπŸ™‚ And I love the set the pictures!

  4. Great looking cheesecake. Well done!! I actually really thought it was delicious myself. In fact I’d have been scraping off the insides of my spring form pan just so that I didn’t miss any delectable bits!

  5. I don’t know why, but you crack me up. I think I can hear your voice talking in my head while I read your post. Call me crazy… I might be. You rocked it out with your cheesecake, dent and all! Nice!

  6. mary- No doubt, I am so looking forward to the chocolate!!

    Erin- I love cheesecake, but for some reason it was the combo. But you are correct, I have many people to bake it for.πŸ™‚

    April- Can’t wait to see how you do babe!

    Michelle- Jaos took the pics, maybe I should have him take them more often, I dont take the time to take sequences.

    Amber- thanks!

    Marie- ha! I was scraping off the crust. It stuck awfully to the sides. That crust was soooo good!

    joythebaker- Always glad to amuse!πŸ˜‰ I try and write just like I think/talk. Which can get me in trouble, when I don’t filter.

    Shawnda- Thanks!

    Nikki- Aww, thanks. I liked my dent too. Personality is where its at.

  7. I LOVE cheesecake but I am a simple cheesecake-er so I’d probably feel the same about mixing 2 desserts in one but your picture looks yummy! So… I was thinking. What if I did a WWD (Wednesday w/ Dorie) extension since I don’t have the book but I can see your recipe on your blog from Tuesday and bake it for the next day? haha.

  8. Thank goodness I ain’t the only one who was a little freaked out by the idea of cheesecake and apples. That’s why I ended up using the apple butter, the two textures of cheesecake and apples was something I wasn’t up to handling. Texture is such a stupidly big thing to me. The little dent makes me feel better too, I stuck my thumb in mine like a pigtailed version of Little Jack Horner and tore the top. Yours sure looks good, no matter wether it was your favourite or not! Incidentally, next week sounds so good…

  9. Now, see, you were brave enough to photograph the ‘dent’ while I tried to hide mine. But, you inspired me, so I had to show mine as well. I think it was the oven fairy at work. Anyway, your cheesecake looks lovely. Thanks for letting me in.

  10. i snagged the top of mine with foil, too. drat! i glazed it with the apple jelly and that sort of smoothed out and disguised the ripped off bit. glad jaos loved it!

  11. Way to take one for the team!πŸ™‚ I know, sometimes I feel that way about certain recipes. The cheesecake turned out great and I’m sure it tasted great!

  12. I’m with you – I can normally go for a hefty slice of cheesecake, but really – I’d rather have had a wedge of apple pie or a slice of plain cheesecake. Everyone else absolutely loved it though, and your cheesecake is adorable (can baked goods be adorable? I’m going with yes…)

  13. carrotsandcake- Thanks so much!

    CB- Oh, CB, get off your duff and buy the book! Slacker!πŸ˜›

    Mary- It was nice that he loved it.

    lemontartlet- I so cannot wait till next week!

    Judy- I didnt know how not to show the dent! LOL

    Tammy- Oh you know you want to, do it!πŸ™‚

    steph- yours was flawless!

    Dianne- Im so glad I am not the only one, I felt like a total doofus.

    Gigi- Thank you!

    Jihanna- No cheese with my apple pie thanks, sorry.

    Caitlin- Yeah, this one was just weird for me flavor wise, the recipe was great though.

    kate- Jaos loved it!

  14. How nice of you to consider making it again! You did a great job. So wish I could get my hands on that book so I could join in the fun! I am impressed that this group is growing so large, that is wonderful!

  15. It looks great!! Isn’t it horrible when you realize you don’t have something you need?? Mine’s usally butter.. but way to make the best of situation..

    looks yummy!!

    Glad you joined in even though you were reluctant!!

  16. I’m yet another one who had dents (two of them), which is why I didn’t include a picture of the whole cheesecake. I even used non-stick foil for the tent, but it stuck anyway. Go figure.

    I love the color of the plate in the first picture. I’ve been thinking that I need to find some interesting plates for pictures, since my everyday dishes don’t look that great in the ones I’ve taken.

  17. never realise that brown sugar will do well with cheesecake! my hubby is not a fan of cheesecake but i do love them..i think i only tried making about 3 times a cheesecake recipe..im not so confident myself..your brown sugar apple cheesecake looks yummy and lovelyπŸ™‚

  18. Gretchen- It is growing fast, Im stunned by the whole thing!

    MrsPresley- Thanks, Jaos did love it so.

    Ryley- I have run out of butter so many times, that I keep it in bulk now. Its the one thing I always have.

    Ashley- Its nice to make something for Jaos knowing he will love it, and he did.

    Di- Those are actually my everyday dishes. I bought FiestaWare when we got married. I love them!

    peabody- Yeah. I am probably the oddball who doesnt like apples and cheese. Go figure. And I will try to do more of a roof next time.

    dhanggit- cheesecakes are not as hard as they seem to be. this one was pretty simple. you should try it!

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