Cheesecake with Caramelized Apples

One of my mother's favorite dessert creations is her Cheesecake recipe with Caramelized Apples. It's a moist and rich cheesecake in which she hid, between the cheese mixture and the sweet pastry crust, a layer of apples that she first cooked in a sugar-and-butter caramel sauce as mellow tasting as honey.

This Cheesecake with Caramelized Apples is an easy recipe to prepare.

The only equipment you need is a springform pan, available in any kitchen supply or housewares store. And you can make it even more easily if you substitute a store-bought round of pie pastry for the sugar dough crust.

We could hardly wait for our mother's cheesecake to cool enough so that she could slice it neatly. Then, we'd all sit down at the kitchen table and enjoy it with a glass of ice-cold milk. Sometimes, for me at least, the cheesecake and a glass of milk were dinner enough.

Cheesecake with Caramelized Apples Recipe

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook time: 50 minutes

    Yield: Serves 10 to 12, Makes one 9-inch cheesecake

Cheesecake with Caramelized Apples Recipe Ingredients

    1/3 recipe Sugar Dough (recipe follows)

    1 large organic Granny Smith or Pippin apple

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

    3 tablespoons heavy cream

    2 medium lemons

    9 ounces cream cheese, softened

    2 large cage-free eggs

    1-1/2 cups sour cream

Cheesecake with Caramelized Apples Recipe Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    On a floured surface, roll the pastry 1/4 inch thick. Using the base of a 9-inch springform pan as a guide, cut a 9-inch circle and fit it into the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork to prevent it from rising, then bake until the pastry is just golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

    Peel, halve, and core the apple and cut into 1/4-inch slices. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat and saute the apple with 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Cook until lightly caramelized but still tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and cook until it has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and reserve.

    Finely grate the zest from the lemons and reserve. Juice the lemons to get 6 tablespoons juice and set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and the remaining sugar. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then add 1 cup of the sour cream and the lemon juice and zest.

    Arrange the caramelized apple slices over the bottom of the crust in a single layer.

    Pour the cheese mixture over the apples. Tap the pan gently against the counter to settle the batter.

    Bake until the sides of the cake are set but the center moves slightly when the pan is shaken gently, about 20 minutes. There should not be any cracks in the top.

    Stir the remaining sour cream until it is quite liquid. Drizzle over the top of the hot cheesecake and spread as evenly and smoothly as possible. Let cool to room temperature, then chill for several hours up to overnight.

    Remove the cheesecake from the pan. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Sour Dough Ingredients

    3-1/3 cups pastry flour

    3-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

    3/4 cup sugar

    Pinch salt

    1 pound unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces

    3 cage-free egg yolks

    2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Sour Dough Directions

    In a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and process until the texture resembles fine meal.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the yolks and 2 tablespoons of the cream. Scrape into the machine and process until a ball begins to form, using the additional tablespoon of cream, if necessary. Remove the dough from the machine onto a lightly floured surface. Gather together into a ball and divide into 3 equal pieces. Gather each into a ball and press down into a circle. Wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 for at least 1 hour. If not using the other 2 within a few days, wrap in a freezer-proof bag and freeze, thawing in the refrigerator before use.


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