for the crust
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 stick (4 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
for the apples
- 1/2 stick (4 Tbsp.) unsalted butter
- 3 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths (I used Crispin)
- 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
for the filling
- 3 (8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp. sugar
- 3 Tbsp. apple cider
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
1. To Make the Crust: Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan.
2. Process the graham crackers in a food process until you get fine crumbs. Pulse in the sugar and cinnamon then pour over the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened.
3. Turn the crumbs into the springform pan and, using your fingertips, firmly press them evenly over the bottom of the pan. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.
4. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
5. Remove the pan from the freezer and wrap the bottom tightly in aluminum foil, going up the sides. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is set and lightly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool while you make the apples and the filling. Leave the oven at 350 degrees F.
6. To Make the Apples: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, toss in half of the apple slices and cook, turning once, until they are golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle the apples with 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar and cook them, turning, just until coated, another minute or so. Place the apples onto a plate, wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining apples. Let the apples cool while you make the filling.
7. Have a roasting pan large enough to hold the springform pan at hand. Start boiling some water to fill the pan halfway.
8. To Make the Filling: Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the cream cheese on medium speed, scraping down the bowl often, for about 4 minutes, or until it is velvety smooth.
9. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes.
10. Beat in the cider, vanilla, and cinnamon.
11. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each egg.
12. Add in the sour cream or yogurt and heavy cream, beating just until the batter is smooth.
13. Pour about one third of the batter into the baked crust.
14. Drain the apples by lifting them off the plate with a slotted spoon or spatula, and spoon them into the pan (reserving several for topping if desired). Cover with the remaining cheesecake batter.
15. Place the springform pan in the roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the pan.
16. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 to 45 minutes, covering the cake loosely with a foil tent at the 45-minute mark. At 45 minutes you can also add in the apples for topping, if desired.
17. Gently transfer the cake, still in the pan, to a cooling rack and let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it for at least 6 hours or overnight. Then Serve.
Source: Baking: from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan