Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake

October 28, 2011

This past weekend some good friends of ours held a fantastic fall party filled with great friends, delicious foods, and tasty drinks… and oh, did I mention the unbelievable food? I’m telling you, there were these unbelievable sugar cookies with a mouthwatering maple glaze, and this homemade apple crisp? To. Die. For. Not to mention the presentation…it rivaled a Sandra Lee “Tablescape!” That is saying something.

Well, on the invitation they invited us to bring our favorite fall dish or yummy beverage, which offered the PERFECT opportunity for me to try out this new apple cinnamon cheesecake. The cheesecake itself is flavored with pumpkin pie spice, which is baked inside a homemade gingersnap crust. If that’s not enough, it is topped with a rich, apple-cinnamon and caramel topping that is out of this world. I wish I could take credit for the recipe, but it belongs to Jamie Lothridge from My Baking Addiction.

Jamie, you rock. This amazing combination of ingredients resulted in an incredibly rich and creamy cheesecake, filled with the flavors of fall. The gooey caramel apple topping really put the recipe over the top. As a side note, if you are not a big fan of gingersnaps, you could certainly bake a traditional graham cracker crust instead. I hope you give it a try; it takes a little effort, but is well worth it!

Ingredients:

Ginger Snap Crust:

  • 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about a 14 ounce package of cookies)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted

Spiced Cheesecake Filling:

  • 4 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese; room
    temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs; room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Apple Topping:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Tightly wrap a 9 inch spring form pan in heavy duty foil.
  2. Mix together the crust ingredients in a blender  (gingersnap cookie crumbs, brown sugar, salt and melted butter) and press into the bottom of the pan and about 1 ½ inches up the sides. Bake for 7 minutes and cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and sugar; mix until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating  each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla; combine until thoroughly incorporated and in texture.
  4. Pour batter into prepared crust.
  5. Place cheesecake pan into a jelly roll pan with a ledge, and pour hot water into the larger pan  until nearly filled to the top, creating a water bath.
  6. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, the edges will appear to be set, but the center will still have some jiggle  to it. At this point, close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for at least one hour, but up to 3 hours.
  7. After the recommended cooling time has passed, carefully remove the cheesecake from the  water bath and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cake is completely cooled, place it into the refrigerator for at least 5 hours.
  8. Three hours before serving, prepare the apple topping.
  9. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. In another bowl, sprinkle apples with the juice of ½ lemon and toss.
  10. Melt butter over medium heat; whisk in flour and stir for about one minute. Slowly whisk in the   apple cider followed by the sugar and spice mixture made in the previous step.
  11. Add in the apples and cook until slightly tender (about 5-7 minutes) stirring constantly. Once apples have reached a desired texture and the sauce has thickened, remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Allow apple topping to cool completely before topping the cheesecake. Arrange apples on cheesecake and chill for at least one hour before serving.
  12. ENJOY!

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