Caramel Apple Crumb Cheesecake
Recipe Source: Melanie Underwood, Making Artisan Cheesecake
This is delicious with the goat cheese, but you can use all cream cheese instead if you prefer, or use an equal amount of mascarpone for the goat cheese. The crumb crust and topping make this taste almost like an apple pie.
Yield: One 10-inch (25 cm) cheesecake
1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) dice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound (454 g) cream cheese
1 pound (454 g) goat cheese
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
4 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To make the apples: In a large saute pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the apples all at once and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just beginning to soften. Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon. Allow to cool completely.
To make the cheesecake: Lower the oven to 325oF (170oC, or gas mark 3). In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and goat cheese on low speed until softened, scraping down the sides of the bowl, underneath the paddle, and the paddle frequently with a rubber spatula, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and continue mixing on low and scraping down the sides, bottom, and paddle until there are no visible lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix just until combined, about 10 seconds after each egg. Stir in the vanilla and ground cinnamon.
Prepare the springform pan for a water bath. Place the springform pan in a large cake pan or a roasting pan (one that is around the same height or lower than your springform pan). Pour the batter over the crust and level it with a small offset spatula. Place the cooked apples on top of cheesecake batter and then sprinkle with the remaining third of the streusel. Place in the oven and pour almost boiling water into the roasting pan (it should come up halfway around the sidesof the pan). Bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes, until the cheesecake is firm around the edges, but still jiggly in the center (the jiggly part should be about the size of a quarter). Remove from the oven and remove the cheesecake from the water bath.
Remove the foil from the sides of the pan. Gently run a small sharp knife or small spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides. Allow to cool at room temperature. Place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours (this will help the cheesecake set completely).
To unmold the cheesecake, gently run a small sharp knife or small spatula around the edges of the pan. Release the latch on the side of the pan and then lift the ring straight up. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To garnish: You can either drizzle the caramel over the cheesecake while it is whole and then slice it, or plate each slice individually and pour about 1 tablespoon (15 g) on top of each slice, allowing the caramel to drip off the sides.
Streusel Crumb Crust Recipe
This makes enough for the crust and topping for the Caramel Apple Crumb Cheesecake. If using just for a crust, reduce the mixture by one-third.
3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (340 g) light brown sugar
3/4 cup (60 g) rolled oats
1 tablespoon (7 g) ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
12 ounces (337 g) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350oF (180oC, or gas mark 4). In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the butter all at once and stir until completely combined and the mixture begins to come together.
Remove two-thirds of the streusel and press it into the bottom of a springform pan. Set aside the remaining one-third for the topping. Place in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until formed and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Caramel Sauce Recipe
Yield: Makes 1 1/4 cups [300 ml]
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons (55 g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
In a medium 4-quart (4 L) saucepan (make sure you’re using a saucepan with high sides, not a sauté pan or skillet), combine the granulated sugar, water, and lemon juice and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush down any sugar crystals that are on the sides of the pan. Increase the heat to high and continue cooking, without stirring, brushing the sides of the pan with the wet pastry brush as needed. The caramel will begin to take on a light golden color.
Gently swirl (but do not stir) the pan to evenly caramelize the sugar to a medium amber color.
Remove from the heat and carefully add the butter, heavy cream, and fleur de sel. The mixture will begin to bubble and rise slightly in the pan. Whisk until smooth. Allow to cool completely, about 30 minutes.