Sunday, July 4, 2010
If you often experience the problem of cheesecakes cracking along the top, this recipe is perfect for you. The apple topping hides any potential cracks in the cake while adding a wonderful, homey, comforting flare to this deliciously smooth cheesecake. It's like the best of both worlds - apple pie and creamy cheesecake, all topped off with a drizzle of caramel.
The flavors seem more suited to autumn than to summer, but with the weather we've been having, it sure feels more like October than July! I'm sitting indoors wrapped up in 2 blankets with the heater on wearing a fleece hoodie for goodness sake!
Junior’s Apple Caramel Cheesecake
1 - 9" Cake | adapted from Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook
1 prepared 9" graham crust
3 large firm, crisp red-skinned apples
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese (use only full fat), room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 cup caramel or butterscotch ice cream topping
1. Filling, peel and core the apples for the filling into 1/2" bite-size pieces. Combine the cider, cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon in a small saucepan and whisk until completely dissolved. While stirring constantly, bring to a full boil over medium heat and continue to boil until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the apples. Set aside to cool while you make the cake.
2. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 cup of sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the cream just until completely blended. Be careful not to over mix! Gently spoon the batter on top of the crust, then spoon the apple mixture over the batter, gently spreading it almost to the edge of the pan, completely covering the cake.
3. Place the cake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top is slightly golden tan, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away—don’t move it). Leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or at least 4 hours.
4. Warm the caramel ice cream topping then drizzle it from the tip of a small spoon in stripes across the top of the cake, all around the edges, and some down the sides. Return the cake to the freezer until the caramel has set, 30 minutes. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. Slice with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one. Cover any leftover cake and refrigerate.