Apple Crisp Cheesecake says fall to me. And it did to many of my customers too. At the first hint of cool air, the orders would start coming in. I particularly like this cheesecake because it doesn't need a water bath as so many of ours did. I just taught this at the Kitchen Conservatory and my class loved it.
Although looking at the recipes, it seems to have a lot of parts, they are all so easy and the reward so great, there is really no reason to make this. It is perfect for Thanksgiving. It can be frozen and thawed for several days in the refrigerator, or for a day at room temperature with no harm.
I do recommend a cheesecake pan with its solid side and removable bottom over a springform pan. I found the sides of the springform pan can become warped or smashed and the spring can become lose resulting in a pan that is not completely sealed. They also have a tendency to be shorter than the 9x3 inch pans we used for many other things than cheesecakes.
I was asked what kind of apples I liked and my favorites are Galas. Granny Smiths are fine as are Honey Crisps and Pink Ladies.
Cheesecakes have the reputation of being difficult. It is true that if they are set in a draft to cool after baking, they can crack. Some require a water bath to prevent cracking and we had one that no matter what we did it cracked. But it was so good! I just put a pecan caramel top on it after it was baked and it became the Pecan Caramel Cheesecake. When I drizzled chocolate around the edges and down the sides, it became a Turtle Cheesecake. There were almost always work-arounds if the base recipe was good enough.
So, if you can find a couple of hours in the next few weeks, do make this, cool it, freeze it, wrap it and store it for a new Thanksgiving tradition - Apple Crisp Cheesecake!
1 ¼ pounds of apples, peeled, cored and sliced (1 pound cut)
¼ cup packed brown sugar (35 grams or 1 heavy ounce)
¼ cup baker’s raisins (30 grams or 1 ounce)
2 tablespoons flour (15 grams flour or ½ ounce)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Mix all and let sit while prepping the rest of the recipe.
Apple Crisp Topping
¾ cup oats (58 grams or 2 ounces)
½ cup brown sugar (100 grams or 3 ½ ounces)
½ cup walnuts, chopped (50 grams walnuts or 1 ¾ ounces)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup flour (58 grams or 2 ounces)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold (¾ stick, 90 grams or 3 ounces)
Place in the bowl of a mixer and mix to combine until they are large moist crumbs.
1/1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs (190 grams or 6 ⅔ ounces)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (¾ stick, 90 grams or 3 ounces)
Spray a 9x3 inch cheesecake pan and set aside.
Toss the ingredients together with a large fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Using a spoon, seal the crust to the side of the pan. Set aside.
1 ½ pounds of cream cheese (680 grams)
1 cup sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup sour cream (45 grams 1 ½ ounces)
3 tablespoons 40% or heavy cream
2 teaspoon vanilla
Mixer Method: Place the cream cheese, sugar and cornstarch in the bowl of a mixer. Beat until smooth and softened scraping often. It is important there are no lumps of cream cheese that are not beaten in. Add the sour cream, mixing well. Next the eggs; beat to completely combine and last, the cream.
Processor Method: Place the cream cheese, sugar and cornstarch in the bowl of the processor. Process to mix well. Scrape. Add the sour cream; process. Add the eggs; processor. Scrape down if necessary. Mix the cream and vanilla together and with the machine running, pour it down the feedtube.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Arrange the apples over the crust. Pour the cheesecake filling in and smooth the top. Top with the Apple Crisp Crumbs.
Place on a foil lined tray and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake for 50 to 60 minutes more. Cool to room temperature.
Release using a hair blower to heat the sides of the pan. Place the pan on a can and slide the sides down. Go under the bottom of the crust with a spatula and transfer to a board or serving plate with two pancake turners under the crust.
Store in the refrigerator or freeze.
Note: This may be made ahead and frozen. Freeze the cheesecake, wrap well in foil and keep in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator 2 days ahead or, thaw at room temperature for 5 to 6 hours.
Linda C. says
Thank you very much for a delicious cheesecake recipe. Couple of questions: do you think you can substitute a Greek yogurt for the cream cheese? I've tried it in other recipes and it's worked well, just to cut the calories....also, if I use a Norther spy apple, would I have to partially cook the apples to get them to bake through? what about a caramel sauce drizzle on top?
Hi Linda: Thanks for commenting. I have no idea about the greek yogurt. My first thought is it is very astringent and I know would alter the taste and maybe the texture. However, you can use 1/3 less calorie cream cheese or neufchâtel to cut the calories with no adverse effects. All of the apples will cook in about the same time. Just don't cut the too thickly. Look at the photo and that is about the thickness you want. Sure you could use a caramel drizzle but if you are concerned about the calories you might want to forgo that.
Linda C. says
Thanks so much. I tried to buy your book in Canada, but unfortunately amazon.ca doesn't carry it.
Hi Linda: Are you referring to European Tarts or Baking as a Business? Thanks for following.
Linda C. says
The book I was referring to was "The New Pastry Cook", and "Baking as a Business" is also not available on amazon.ca. But I will continue to follow your posts, they're really interesting and informative. Thank you!
The "New Pastry Cook" is out of print but can often be found as used on Amazon.com or Ebay (although I'm not sure why it is not available in Canada). "Baking as a Business" is only available on my website and is a downloadable PDF. As such you should be able to order it by clicking on the Order Now button.
In checking just now, "Baking as a Business" can be ordered from Canada by clicking on the Order now button.
Cuisine Kathleen says
It looks delicious, what could be bad with all those delicious ingredients! I, too, will make it for Thanksgiving. I will use a spring form pan.
Hi Kathleen: thanks for letting me know. Make sure your pan is at least 2 1/2 inches deep as this came almost to the top of my 3inch pan
Eva Forson says
Looks wonderful. I will surely make it for Thanksgiving!
Hi Eva - I think you'll love it. Thanks for your ongoing support.
Thank you for giving us this great sounding recipe with all the helpful photos. What are "baker's raisins"? I looked elsewhere on your blog for an explanation but didn't see one.
Hi Anne: Baker's raisins can be found with regular raisins in grocery stores. They are much more moist, don't need soaking and don't get hard when baked. I love them - don't like the price! The only company I know that makes them is the one in the red box. Sorry, but I can't remember the name. Hope this helps.
Vicki Bensinger says
I'm sorry Helen I didn't mean to reply in your place. I saw the commnt and having made one recently put in my two cents. I apologize! Thank you for the nice comment but I am not from Le Corden Bleu.
Hi Vicki: Sorry about that - I will make a correction. I am working with another Vicki at Le Corden Bleu and got the two of you mixed up.
Please do not every feel you can't make suggestions or reply to anything. It is a compliment and I appreciate the time taken to do so.
lots of appreciations.
Hi Salim: You are very welcome and I hope you make it.
Vicki Bensinger says
This looks fantastic. Have you ever tried leaving it to cool in the oven. I've never heard of using a hair dryer to Release it but then I usually use a springform pan. I will try that and hopefully the crumbs won't go flying!
Beautiful recipe. I will make it for thanksgiving. ;-)
Hi Vicki: A lot of the cheesecakes we made at the shop were left in the oven to cool for an hour before they were removed. Played havoc with our ovens as that tied some of them up for 2 hours or more. But well worth it. This one doesn't need any special treatment. Yay!!!!! Thanks for the helpful reminder.
Looks delicious, Helen. It must have been, as there wasn't a crumb left after your class at Kitchen Conservatory. I wonder if one could substitute a gluten-free flour to make it edible for the gluten-avoiding members of the family who will be at Thanksgiving without ruining it for the rest of us.
Vicki Bensinger says
I've made a gluten free one using gluten free graham crackers that they sell at Whole Foods and it turned out delicious. You couldn't even tell the difference.
Hi again Vicki: Really good suggestion. If you read further down, you will see Hilda already asked about this. Will be posting this for gluten free people. Thanks so much for the assist.
Hi Hilda: Good question. The answer is from another reader, Vicki Bensinger of Le Corden Bleu. She got gluten free graham crackers from Whole Foods and substituted those in a cheesecake she made (not this one). So go there, get the crackers and no one will know the difference.