I’m being a cheater today. Or at least I thought I was until I realized…hey I created Way Back Wednesdays a while ago! Yay, I am only half cheating. 🙂 And is it really cheating when I am on crutches and can’t stand up to bake? I think not.
But truthfully I just couldn’t stand not to blog and well that doesn’t happen all that much lately. I guess that’s the sign of a good conference and the sign of getting to meet a lot of wonderful people over the weekend. People who gathered to talk about food, eat food, and do all things food with others that loved it. It reminded me why I blog in the first place. I love food. I love sharing my love of food. I love talking to others about food. And I love knowing I’m not alone in my love of food!
I chose this cheesecake because number one I’ve been putting together an all things Fall pin board on Pinterest that highlights some of my favorite Fall recipes from this blog. And I ran across this beauty. It’s from back in the day I belonged to Tuesday’s With Dorie before it got too big for me. Just like Daring Bakers did. But then again I started as an original 5 of that group so anything was going to seem big after that. 🙂
I remember this cheesecake being awesome. All I can say is remember since the crappy thing about Way Back Wednesdays is I don’t actually get to eat the food. So no cheesecake for me…and no caramel sauce which is really what I want to eat right now. Boo. But you could make it. Especially if you are like my neck of the woods where Fall has come a knocking (yay!). If it’s still too warm in your area be sure to bookmark it you won’t be sorry.
As for me, I’m propped up. MDP has made me my own little island of sorts while he is gone during the day. A lap top. A beverage center as I call it…you know it as a cooler. Various snacks. Pillows. Blankets. All the remotes. And this bad boy that came in via UPS today… Baked Elements: The Importance of Being Baked in 10 Favorite Ingredients. The sad thing is I really want to read it and I really don’t. I know the minute I crack it open I am going to want to bake! Heck, I already want to make the cake on the front of the book!
Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake
For the Crust
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 (I used Honeycrisps)
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
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
Caramel Sauce for Drizzling
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 are 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 can 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.
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. 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.