Apple Cheesecake

apple cheesecake copy.jpg

I’m one of those people who are not crazy about cheesecake. I wouldn’t say no to a piece, of course, but if I had to choose a dessert from a menu, cheesecake would not be my first choice. That said, I understand that cheesecake is a divine dessert. It’s creamy and velvety with a slight tang and saltiness from the cheese. Combined with any fruit is heaven on a plate. Now imagine eating an apple pie topped with cheesecake. You get the sweetness of the apples, the aroma of cinnamon, the crunchiness of the almonds and the creaminess of the cheesecake. Now that, would be my first choice on a dessert menu.

For the base

  • 1 ½ cup crushed “digestive” type biscuits (about 12 if using a “McVities” Brand)
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 Tbs soft brown sugar
  • 90 grams melted butter (6 Tbs)

For the apples

  • 500 gr golden delicious apples (about 3), peeled, cored and sliced into about 3 mm thick slices
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs corn flour

For the cheesecake

  • 600gr “Philadelphia” type cream cheese
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preheat oven to 175 C. Butter the base and the sides of a 23 cm round baking pan with removable sides and line with greaseproof paper.

Put apple slices in a bowl and mix well with the lemon juice, brown sugar and cinnamon. Leave apples to stand for about 30 minutes.

Prepare the base: In a bowl of a food processor pulse the almonds until coarsely ground. Put in a glass bowl together with the crushed biscuits and brown sugar. Melt the butter over low heat. Pour butter in the glass bowl and mix very well with a spatula until all dry ingredients are moistened. Press mixture on the base and sides of the round baking pan. It’s important for the cookie crust to cover the sides of the pan (maybe not all the way up, but at least 2 cm) so that the apple juices won’t leak. Put pan in the oven and bake for 8 minutes.

Prepare the apples: Put apples and their juices in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the butter and stir until melted. As soon as they start to simmer, lower the heat and cook stirring often for about 10 minutes, until apples are soft and juices start to caramelize and thicken. Take pan off the heat and mix in the corn flour.

Prepare the cheesecake: Reduce oven temperature to 160 C. In a bowl of a food processor add all the ingredients for the cheesecake and pulse until smooth and everything is mixed. Mixture will be liquid.

Spread the apples over the cookie crust and press down with a spatula or a spoon. This is important as if you don’t press down the apple mixture, when you pour in the cheesecake mixture, some apple slices may rise to the surface. Not that it matters taste wise but your presentation might be affected. Pour the cheesecake mixture slowly over the apples. Bake cheesecake for one hour. Leave to cool to room temperature (do not even attempt to release the sides of the pan yet). Transfer cheesecake in the fridge to cool over night.

When ready to serve, run a small metal spatula all the way round the pan and release the sides. Discard the greaseproof paper, transfer on a platter and serve.

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