Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

I love cheesecake. And I love apples. So, two weeks earlier, I thought I’d try my hand at baking an apple cheesecake!

And, what better way than to look up some easy cheesecake recipes on Joy the Baker! She’s one of my favourite food bloggers and I absolute adore her work ♥

Apples are such a versatile fruit to work with when it comes to baking, and even cooking for some. I love all kinds of apples: the sweet ones, the crunchy ones, even the sometimes soft ones! The health benefits, of course, are but an added bonus 😉 And as for cheesecake… It’s no secret: I absolutely have no willpower when it comes to resisting them.

The recipe I used is adapted from the one on Joy’s site, so it’s similar but does not follow it strictly.

Overall the taste was pretty good, not too sweet and not too bland. I especially loved the caramelized apples on top! The only downside would have to be the crust; in all my previous baking efforts I’ve always had problems with the crust. I’ve yet to perfect it 😦 But I’m still learning!

Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

Adapted from Joy Wilson’s interpretation of Dorie Greenspan’s recipe

Yield: approximately 10 small cheesecake bars

For the Crust

  • 12 digestive biscuits (you can use more if you wish!)
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling

  • 2 8-ounce packs cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider (I used organic apple cider!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

For the Apple Topping

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into eights
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar

Directions

To make the Crust

  1. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10 x 8 inch baking pan. (Actually a smaller one is fine too; I used a 9 x 7 inch or something around that size, and my tray was made of glass.)
  2. Put the digestive biscuits in a food processor and whir until you have crumbs. Pulse in the sugar and the cinnamon, then pour over the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened.
  3. Place the crumbs into the baking pan and, using your fingers, firmly pack the crumbs such that they fill the entire bottom. Make sure they’re spread out evenly as well. Wrap the pan with clear plastic wrap and place it in the freezer while you preheat the oven.
  4. Center a low rack in the oven and preheat oven to 180 degrees C (approximately 350 degrees F).
  5. Remove the pan from the freezer and bake it for 10 minutes, or until the crust is set and lightly browned. Allow to cool on a standing rack while you make the apples and filling. Leave the oven at 180 degrees C.

To make the Filling

  1. Using a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment (I use a Kenwood stand mixer), beat the cream cheese on medium speed for about 5 minutes, making sure to scrape down the sides often. You should get a smooth texture.
  2. Add in the brown sugar and beat for another two minutes. Add in the apple cider, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
  3. Reduce the mixer to low speed and beat in the eggs one by one, with a one minute interval between each. Then, beat in the sour cream and continue on low speed until the batter is really smooth.
  4. Pour the batter into the baking pan over the baked crust, shaking the pan slightly to make sure that it’s spread out evenly.
  5. Place the baking pan onto the rack in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The top should turn a nice brown as featured in the photo.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a standing rack. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, refridgerate it for at least 6 hours or best if overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan and cut the cake into little bars!

To make the Apple Topping

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, melt 2 tbsp of unsalted butter over medium to high heat.
  2. When the foam subsides, throw in half of the chopped apple slices and cook them for about 3 to 5 minutes, turning occasionally until they are a golden brown. Sprinkle the apples with 1 tbsp of sugar and turning until just coated, for another minute or so.
  3. Empty the cooked apples onto a plate and wipe out the skillet. Repeat the process for the remaining apples.
  4. Serve the apple topping with the cheesecake while the apples are still hot and the caramel dripping!!! Yummy.

I would definitely recommend making the apple topping only when you’re ready to serve the cheesecake, since the cake is best kept in the fridge overnight after it’s baked. I made the apple topping on the same day, and ended up having to put the apples in the fridge too, warming them up to serve the next day! Sure didn’t taste as good when made fresh 🙂

Enjoy your apple cheesecake bars and don’t forget to share!

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