Author Notes: After much consideration, I wanted to make my apple pie into a cheesecake. This is a rich, delicious way to celebrate the fall harvest. This cheesecake is a wonderful holiday piece that would be the perfect ending to your Thanksgiving meal or a wonderful gift to bring to a party or neighbors house during the holiday season. Your children can help in the kitchen, pouring the measured ingredients or chopping the apples (with adult supervision). It takes a bit of time to make, but after one bite you will know it was worth the time and effort. —jonewman
Serves 12-16 slices
Spiced Apples, Cheesecake Base and Gingersnap Crust
- 4 Granny Smith Apples, Diced
- 4 packets (8 ounce) Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
- 1 1/2 cups White Sugar
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 12 tablespoons Butter
- 1/3 cup Plus 3 tbsp Heavy Cream
- 2 cups Gingersnap Crumbs
- 4 tablespoons Flour
- 5 Eggs, Room Temperature
- 2 tablespoons Vanilla
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 1/2 tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/3 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Clove
- 3 Pinches of Salt
- To Make Spiced Apples: In a heavy saucepan melt 4 tablespoons butter and add the cored and chopped apples. Stir for two minutes and then add the 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/3 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon clove and a pinch of salt. Stir for another two to three minutes then add 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Continue to stir for another 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of flour and stir for a final 2 to 3 minutes. Take mixture off the heat and let cool before adding to cheesecake mixture.
- To Make Crust: Grind gingersnaps in food processor till they turn into crumbs. Put two cups of gingersnap crumbs into a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of white sugar and a pinch of salt, stir to combine. Melt 8 tablespoons of butter and add melted butter into gingersnap mixture. Stir till combined. Press gingersnap crust into cheesecake pan, making sure the crust is even and slightly going up the sides. Put into the refrigerator to set. Take out once cheesecake mixture is made.
- To Make Cheesecake Mixture: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a standing mixer or a bowl with beaters, mix 4 packages of cream cheese, 1 cup of white sugar, pinch of salt and 3 tablespoons flour until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and then add the 5 eggs one egg at a time. Don’t add a new egg until the previous one is well mixed in. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Finally, add 1/3 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon of vanilla and the zest of one lemon. Mix until combined and scrape down the bowl once more.
- Remove the cheesecake pan with the crust from the fridge. Add cream cheese mixture into springform pan. Take cooled spiced apple mixture and spoon onto the top of the cream cheese mixture.
- Surround the springform pan in aluminum foil (the bottom of the pan and the walls). Place the pan in a baking sheet tray that has an edge. Add a small amount of water into the baking sheet tray to create a moist cooking environment once you put it in the oven.
- Put cheesecake into the 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes turn down the oven to 250 degrees and bake for another two and a half hours. Cheesecake is done when the outer part is firm and the center is slightly soft. Take out of the oven and let it cool on a rack. Once cooled you can cover and refrigerate.
Rum Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 6 tablespoons Butter
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 tablespoon Spiced Rum
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 Pinch of Salt
- 1/2 cup Toasted Chopped Walnuts (optional)
- Put brown sugar, salt and butter in a medium saucepan. Stir until melted. Keep stirring until mixture comes to a boil. Turn the heat off and slowly stir in the heavy cream. Be careful because mixture will expand and foam up. Once it is combined, add spiced rum and vanilla. Turn heat back on and once mixture returns to a slight boil, turn stove off and remove from heat. Transfer to a glass or ceramic container and cool. Can store in the refrigerator. Caramel will thicken when cold. To soften, place container into the microwave for 10-20 seconds. Stir caramel.
- To present cheesecake, slice cake and place on plate. Drizzle the rum caramel sauce on top of the cheesecake and if you want sprinkle some roasted chopped walnuts on top. You can also place the cheesecake over a small pool of caramel that is put on the serving plate first.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Apple Cake