Monday, July 5, 2010

Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake

Do you know that my favorite fruit is the humble apple. Not many people may call this their favorite fruit (the honor going to mangoes, strawberries or other such fruits) but I get my enjoyment out of a crisp, sweet apple. However, if there is one thing I can’t eat it is a green apple which I find a bit too tart for my taste. So when I found a few green apples lying in the fruit basket (courtesy hubby) I didn’t know what to do with them. I quickly shot a mail to Michelle from Brown Eyed Baker and asked for some recipe suggestions. I got a prompt reply and true to her helpful nature she suggested three desserts and after checking all of them on her blog I decided to go the cheesecake route. Now I have only ever baked a cheesecake once before so the water bath method was a bit intimidating to me. Moreover, my spring form pan is a bit lose and I was sure that all the water would seep in and spoil the cake. So I checked with her and decided to bake it without the water bath and got perfect results. The verdict? This cheesecake is to die for!! If you love apples like I do you will fall head over heels for this. It’s creamy, not too sweet and the brown sugar coated apples in the middle are truly divine. Now stop reading and go make this!

Recipe Source – Brown Eyed Baker (Originally by Dorie Greenspan “Baking: From My Home to Yours”)

Ingredients (Below is the recipe how I made it, for the original recipe check here)

For the Crust
2 Cups Powdered Digestive Biscuits
2 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 stick (4 Tbsp / 50 Gms) Unsalted Butter, Melted
For the Apples
1/2 Stick (4 tbsp / 50 Gms) Unsalted Butter
4 large Granny Smith Apples (Peeled, Cored and Cut Into 16 Slices)
2 Tbsp (Packed) Light Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
For the Filling
680 Gms 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 9-inch springform pan.
Put the powdered digestive biscuits in a food processor and pulse in the sugar and cinnamon. Pour in the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened. Turn the crumbs into the springform pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup, 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 180 degrees C (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 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).

To Make the Apples:
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick pan 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 pan and repeat with the remaining apples. Sprinkle the cinnamon on the apples and let them cool while you make the filling.

To Make the Filling:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, 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 apple juice, 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. Arrange the apples in an even layer in the pan. Cover with the remaining batter and, if needed, jiggle the pan to even the top. Place the springform pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake the cheesecake for 2 hours and 5 - 10 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.

Happy Eating!!

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Hi there! If you have any thoughts, queries or suggestions please do let me know. I would love to hear from you!