November 7, 2011
Apple Spice Cheesecake
I think Jon is plotting to take over the world.
Yes, the entire world.
You see, normally Jon reads fiction. Things like Tom Robbins and Junot Diaz, among, many, many other innumerous authors. Then things suddenly changed. A couple of nights ago we were both in bed reading our respective books and as I start dozing off I read the header of his page “Supernatural Numbers.” My mind quickly started turning, “Why is my husband reading about Supernatural Numbers? Muy strange…” And then, the next day in the mail a book arrives that he ordered. Its title you may ask? “Discrete-Time Signal Processing.” Ummm, yeah. What the heck is going on?
So yes, through reasonable forms of logic I deduced that all of this math studying must equate to his plotting to take over the world. Like in The Matrix. It will all be cyber and through the computer.
I have forewarned you.
So what do you do when you’re worried about a world takeover by Jon? You make cheesecake. You conquer cheesecake. Or, at least you try to.
I made this cheesecake for a friends’ housewarming party. I again turned to my trusty fall apples to make a tasty apple topping. The cheesecake itself was a simple basic cheesecake; I just added some cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to spice things up.
Please forgive me for not having a photo of a cheesecake slice. I just couldn’t take a cheesecake to a party with a slice missing. It’s just not classy. And I am all about class. Or not. All jokes aside, one thing I did learn about cheesecake is that you MUST refrigerate it for at least 5+ hours prior to serving. I did not do this. The taste was good, but the consistency wasn’t right because it wasn’t refrigerated for long enough. This means you must plan a good chunk of time ahead before you set this on the table for it to be devoured.
I also recommend watching this video by Jamie from My Baking Addiction: http://vimeo.com/14255610. I followed her instructions to the T* and all of it was key in not getting my cheesecake to crack. Because cracks are not cool.
*Sidenote, did you know the letter T is the most used consonant in the English language? I learned that off Wikipedia. I am getting smarter by the second.
The topping might look like it took me a long time to arrange, but it didn’t. I did it in 10 minutes (or so) and it was totally worth it.
PS: I am very excited to announce that I am once again an aunt! Many congratulations to Matt, Amanda, and Lizzie. Juliet has joined a little birthday possy my mother-in-law and I have going on. Oh, and a happy birthday to me as I turn a whopping 26. I am getting old.
Ok, without further ado. Here it is.
Crust (from My Baking Addiction):
2 cups of cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon of salt
Note: If you would like for the crust to go all the way up the sides of the cheesecake (like mine) you need to make a third more of this recipe. Otherwise, it will be enough to go a 1 ½” up from the bottom, which still looks nice.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees,
2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. It will be slightly crumbly.
3. Put the crust into the 9” springform pan and spread and press down with fingers.
4. Using the bottom of a measuring cup press the crust down again.
5. Place the crust in the oven for 7 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and let cool and reach room temperature.
Cheesecake (adapted from My Baking Addiction):
4 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each; room temperature
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs; room temperature
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Keep that oven on at 350 degrees.
2. Put a big pot of water to boil.
3. Mix the cream cheese and sugar together until well incorporated and fluffy.
4. Add one egg at a time, mixing well between each egg.
5. Slowly pour the heavy cream, mixing the whole time.
6. Mix in the spices and vanilla extract.
7. Pour into prepared crust.
8. Smooth out top with spatula.
9. Cover the outside of the pan with aluminum paper to prevent any water from getting inside.
10. If you’re super paranoid place the pan inside an oven bag. (Watch the video for all of the know-how: http://vimeo.com/14255610).
11. Place the pan in a larger pan (I used a turkey roasting pan). And pour the boiling water into the pan. The water should be 1 ½ – 2 inches up the side of the pan.
12. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until the edges are set but the center is still jiggly.
13. Now turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for another hour.
14. Take the cheesecake out and set on the counter to reach room temperature.
15. Afterwards put in the fridge for at least five hours.
4-5 granny smith apples cored, peeled, and sliced into approx. ¼ inch slices
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Lemon juice (optional)
3 tablespoons of butter
1. After peeling the apples I drizzled them with lemon juice to prevent browning. If you don’t mind the browning and don’t care for the slightly lemony flavor, then omit.
2. Mix in with the apples the cinnamon and sugar.
3. To have more control over how cooked each slice is, I cooked all of the apples in three separate batches. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high heat and put in your first batch. After 3 minutes or so, flip over your slices. Remove to a bowl once the apples are tender but still crisp.
4. Now they are ready to be arranged on your cheesecake!
5. Ta-da! You are all done. Be sure to put that cheesecake bake in the fridge if you will not be serving it immediately.