Sunday, September 28, 2008

Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake - A Tuesdays with Dorie Re-wind

I decided on a Dorie Re-wind for this week - a butane torch for creme brulee would not go well with the clumsy and forgetful Sherrytrifle so I decided against buying one. Hence my pick of Dorie's Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake, chosen back in February by Jaime of Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats.

Here's the recipe:

Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake
For the Crust
30 gingersnaps (or a scant 2 cups graham cracker crumbs) - I used Nilla Wafers.
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
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
Apple jelly, for glazing, or confectioner's sugar, for dusting (optional)

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're 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'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 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.

I used a 10" cheesecake pan with a removable base rather than a springform pan. I just love my cheesecake pan - it is so satisfying to just lift the whole cake with the base, which I use as a plate. There is no moving of the cheesecake unsupported.

I've eaten a slice - I'm not sure if I like it as much as a classic New York Cheesecake or as much as the light and fluffy Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte I made back in August. But I think it will be very popular at work tomorrow as it is nice and creamy.


CB said...

Mmmm... cheesecake. I like the brown sugar and cheesecake part but I am not sure about the apple chunks. I wasn't a TWD member when they made this but its definitely something I want to bake someday.
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

Engineer Baker said...

This was a major hit at my work, actually. I had people asking me to bake it again and again. Definitely a good rewind pick.

n.o.e said...

Great job on the rewind! There are so many recipes that I missed. I'll have to make a cheesecake soon, but may start with the hidden berry one. Work will think you're a hero!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I wasn't a member when this was made, so I haven't had the pleasure of making this recipe. I'm curious, although as a rule, I'm not a fan of baked apple desserts.

Rigby said...

Yum! That looks wonderful! I also did a rewind this week, but I dove into the chocolate! :)

Rosie said...

One beautiful cake - looks stunning!!

Rosie x

Sarah said...

Looks great! I will have to try that one on a rewind...

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

This would hit the spot right about now. Nice choice!

Jaime said...

mmmm i loved this cheesecake, though it wasn't as firm/dense as a NY cheesecake.

the brulee torch is pretty foolproof if you ask me. you have to push a safety button before the actual flame button will ignite it and then it only stays on as long as your finger is on it - if you want it to stay on, there is a 3rd switch you have to use...

Prudy said...

I really really want to try this one. It looks amazing and so perfect for September.

Cathy said...

What a great rewind choice! It looks (and sounds) fabulous! I hope that it was a big hit at work.

Lynnylu said...

Nice choice for a rewind and a great Fall dessert. I, too, wasn't in TWD when this was made.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a gorgeous cheesecake! I'm drooling...

Thanks for passing by!



Jacque said...

Mmmm, it sounds fantastic! I would definitley be willing to try a piece for testing purposes, lol.