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This is reminiscent of the delicious caramel apples from the state fair or youth fair. As the cake bakes, the apples form a golden-brown topping with just enough crispness and crunch to contrast perfectly with the soft creaminess of the cheesecake. Drizzle the cake generously with a delicious caramel topping and add fresh apples for that impressice finishing touch. Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook - this is a full 24 hour cheesecake!
- 1 1⁄2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 large firm crisp red apples
- 1⁄2 cup apple cider or 1⁄2 cup apple juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 24 ounces full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature (3 8oz packages)
- 1 1⁄3 cups sugar
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 2⁄3 cup heavy cream or 2⁄3 cup whipping cream
- 1 large firm crisp red-skinned apple
- 1 large lemon, juice of (no substitutions)
- 1 cup caramel ice cream topping (Smucker's) or 1 cup butterscotch sundae sauce (Smucker's)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Wrap the outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.
- Make and bake the sponge cake crust and leave it in the pan.
- Keep the oven on.
- MAKE CRUST:.
- Mix the graham crackers and sugar, then add butter and mix with a fork until completely moistened.
- Press mixture into the bottom and up 1/3rd of the side of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Variations: Use ginger snaps instead of graham crackers for a spicier crust.
- Use chocolate wafers instead of graham crackers for a chocolate, white chocolate, or certain fruit-flavored or topped cheesecakes like raspberry, cherry, or orange.
- For a sweeter, moister crust (do this only if the cheesecake is going to get eaten quickly, because it gets mushy faster) use brown sugar instead of white.
- MAKE FILLING:.
- Peel and core the apples for the filling into half-inch, bite-sized pieces.
- Combine the cider, cornstarch, sugar and cinnamon in a small saucepan and whisk until completely dissolved.
- While stirring constantly, bring to a full boil over medium heat and continue to boil until thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the apples.
- Set aside to cool while you make the cake.
- MAKE CHEESECAKE:.
- Put one package of cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl.
- Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down several times.
- Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 cup sugar, then the vanilla.
- Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one.
- Beat in the cream just until completely blended.
- Be careful not to overmix!
- Gently spoon the batter on top of the crust, then spoon the apple mixture over the batter, gently spreading it almost to the edge of the pan, completely covering the cake.
- Place the cake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform.
- Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top is slightly golden tan, about 1 1/4 hours. (*I have been told that to avoid cracking on the top of a cheesecake - that you should cool in the oven with the door open.).
- Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours.
- Leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferable overnight or at least 4 hours.
- Transfer the cake to the freezer for 1 hour.
- For the prettiest cake, decorate within a few hours before serving, so the apples stay fresh and crisp.
- MAKE THE TOPPING:.
- Core the apples and thinly slice them or cut them into bite-sized pieces (leave the peel on if you like).
- Toss the apples with the lemon juice (this keeps them from turning brown).
- Release and remove the side of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan.
- Place on a serving plate.
- Top the cake with apples (wipe them with a paper towel first).
- MAKE THE TOPPING:.
- Warm the caramel ice cream topping (don't let it boil), then drizzle it from the tip of a small spoon in stripes across the top of the cake, all around the edges, and some down the sides.
- Return the cake to the freezer until the caramel has set, 30 minutes.
- Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.
- Slice with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one.
- Cover any leftover cake and refrigerate; that is if there's any left.
- Do not freeze this cake.