If you’re anything like me, you have more cookbooks than shoes, purses, and favorite jeans put together. If you’re anything like me, you don’t pull those cookbooks off the shelf nearly enough. I could spend Mondays with Martha, Thursdays with Tish, Fridays with Faulkner, and Saturdays with Sherry, and still barely put a dent in my collection. (I’d probably take Wednesdays off – I don’t have a cookbook authored by a “W” and plus, we have a standing agreement for one “normal” pizza night a week.)
Laurie’s new baking group, Tuesdays with Dorie, was created to work through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours, one recipe a week. Baking is in the top 5 of my baking bibles. Each week, a member selects a recipe. The Doristas have a week to cake & bake before the reveal each – you guessed it – Tuesday.
This week’s recipe is Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake. Unless they’re going to be coated in three layers of chocolate and caramel, apples don’t get much shopping list time around here. The cheesecake was pretty good but I think I enjoyed eating the leftover caramelized apples more than the cheesecake
Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake
Brown sugar and apples make an ordinary cheesecake a seasonal hit.
- For the crust
- 30 Gingersnaps
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- For the apples
- 3 large Golden Delicious or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths*
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter
- For the filling
- 1 1/2 lbs cream cheese, at room temp
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp apple cider
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Apple jelly for glazing or confectioners 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 processor.) Pulse in the sugar and cinnamon and 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 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 filling. Leave the oven at 350.
- To make the apples: Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over med-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 Tbsp of the sugar and cook them, turning just until coated (another minute or so). Scrape the apples onto a place, wipe out the skillet, and repeat with the remaining apples. Let the apples cool while you make the filling.
- To make the filling: Working with a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on a medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl often for 4 minutes, or until cream cheese 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 minutes after each egg. Finally, beat in the sour cream and heavy cream, beating just until the batter is smooth.
- Pour about 1/3 of the batter into the baked crust. Drain the apples by lifting off the place with a slotted spoon, and spoon them into the pan. Cover with the remaining batter and, if needed, jiggle the pan to even the top. Place the springform in the roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. Tent lightly with foil and bake for another 45 minutes to one hour. The cake will rise evenly and crack around the edges, and it should be fully set except in the very center. Gently transfer the cake, still in the pan, to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate it for at least 6 hours (overnight is better). Run a blunt knife around the cake to loosen the crust. Open the pan's latch and remove the sides. Serve chilled.
Yields: 16 servings
Estimated time: 7 hours 30 minutes