Last weekend, it began: apple season. Well, in my opinion, anyway. On Labor Day I tend not to celebrate the end of summer, but the beginning of fall! While I haven’t gone apple picking yet (that’s on the agenda for this weekend!), I did have a few apples lying around and my new copy of Baking From my Home to Yours to flip through, since I was looking for something good to make for our Labor Day get-together. I happened to land on Dorie’s recipe for Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake, and I instantly knew that’s what I’d be making. And, it was a hit! Creamy, delicious, and filled with the tastes of fall, this cheesecake is perfect to bring to any autumn gathering.
Recipe adapted from Baking From my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.
For the crust
- 2 cups graham cracker (cinnamon sugar) crumbs
- 2 tsp ginger
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
For the apples
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 3 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut into eights
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
For the filling
- 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp apple cider
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
To make the crust, first butter the bottom and sides of a 10″ spring form pan.
Break up the graham crackers (I used about half of a 14.4 ounce box of the cinnamon-sugar kind) and put them in your food processor, pulsing until you have 2 cups worth of fine crumbs. Stir in the ginger.
Melt the butter and pour it over the graham cracker crumbs, stirring until the mixture is moist and crumbly. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and up the sides, as far as it will go. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
When the oven has been preheated, remove the pan from the freezer and wrap the bottom in aluminum foil. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.
Cool on a rack while you make the filling and cook the apples.
To cook the apples, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in the apple slices and cook until golden brown. Sprinkle the apples with the brown sugar and cook a few minutes longer.
Put a pot of water on to boil and get a roasting pan large enough to hold the spring form pan ready. To make the filling, beat the cream cheese on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, for about 4 minutes. Add the sugars and beat an additional 2 minutes.
Beat in the cider, vanilla, and cinnamon. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the eggs one at a time. Then, beat in the sour cream and heavy cream until well-combined.
To assemble, pour about a third of the batter into the crust.
Dice the apples further depending on how large you want the pieces.
Spoon them on top of the poured batter.
Cover with the remaining batter.
Place the spring form pan on the roasting pan, and then pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the spring form pan.
Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes, and then cover the cheesecake with a foil tent to prevent excessive browning. Bake an additional 45 minutes to an hour. If the center still isn’t quite set when you remove it from the oven, that’s okay.
Transfer the cheesecake to a cooling rack, and let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 6 ours; overnight is best. When ready to serve, run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the crust. Then, open the latch on the pan and remove the sides.
Serve plain, or with a dollop of whipped cream.