Thursday, December 23, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake



In case anyone in still planning their Christmas menu or perhaps looking for a New Year’s Eve dessert, may I convince you to bring this cheesecake?!? I can’t say enough about this dessert. I made this for my Department’s Christmas party and after tasting it, I was ready to go home a make another one which I could eat all by myself! The outside crust is lined with gingersnaps, the cheesecake has added spices of pumpkin pie, and the apple topping is too good to resist. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the cheesecake, there was only one or two slices left over which I gladly took home to eat on my own! This would be a great dessert for any special event or Holiday party and is sure to get rave reviews from your guests!

Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake

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For the Crust:

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about a 14 oz package of cookies)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

pinch of salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Cheesecake:

4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperate

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Topping:

1/4 cup unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3/4 cup apple cider

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Tightly wrap a 9 inch springform pan in heavy duty foil. (This step prevents leaks when using a water bath.)

Mix together the crust ingredients. Press into the bottom of the pan and about 1 1/2 inches up the sides. Bake for 7 minutes and cool completely on a wire rack.

Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

In the bowl of a 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 smooth in texture.

Pour batter into prepared crust. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan.

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 off the heat, and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for a least one hour, but up to 3 hours. 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.

Three hours before serving, prepare the apple topping. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. In another bowl, sprinkle apples with the juice of 1/2 lemon and toss.

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.

Add in the apples and cook until slightly tender (about 5 to 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.

Source: My Baking Addiction

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