By Request: Caramelized Apple New York Cheesecake

Savoring Every Bite has become more than just the saying I’ve used to express how passionately I enjoy every moment of my life.  Its become the haven that stores my memories; where I can browse and revisit special moments, places and events I’ve shared with family and friends.

As my path has been taking a few unexpected turns lately, its been comforting to return to my special little place in SEB.  Equally comforting is seeing familiar faces or Gravatars leaving me a note or comment 🙂

Last month I received a request for this cheesecake recipe.  If you haven’t noticed, I have a separate page just for cheesecakes.  It lists the cheesecakes I’ve made through the years, most well before SEB was born.  As I bake them again, I’m posting the recipes.  Pat, whom I’ve never met, is the aunt of my very best friend Ayesha, had left me a comment requesting this.  She also mentioned she has never made a cheesecake before!  So as I’ve shared in past cheesecake posts, I have a few tried and true tips to help make your cheesecake a success!

  • Place a casserole or baking pan filled with water on the lower rack of the oven; helps to prevent cracking
  • Confirm your oven temperature is accurate with an oven thermometer
  • Always make sure your ingredients are all room temperature for blending smoothly
  • Do not overbeat the batter, especially when adding in the eggs, beat at a low speed.  Over beating causes cracks.
  • Do not overbake the cheesecake.  The cheesecake should look firm with only a slight jiggle in the center.
  • Right after removing the cheesecake from the oven, run a knife around the rim of the pan so that as the cheesecake cools and shrinks, it won’t crack.
  • Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight uncovered and top the next day.
  • To freeze, place the cheesecake uncovered on a baking sheet and freeze until firm.  Wrap tightly in foil and then a large freezer bag for several months.  Defrost uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.

With 2 1/2 lbs of cream cheese the New York cheesecake is dense, unlike the lighter and creamier Strawberry Basil Cheesecake I posted earlier.  Made ahead and frozen, this would be a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving.

Caramelized Apple New York Cheesecake

For the crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons butter, melted

For the filling:

2 1/2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature, cut into chunks

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 eggs, room temperature

1 cup sour cream

For the topping:

adapted from Emeril Lagasse NY Cheesecake with Caramelized Big Apple Topping

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

2 tablespoons Apple Jack Brandy

2 cups peeled, cored and thinly sliced Granny Smith apples (about 4 apples)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Place a casserole or baking pan filled with water on the lower rack.  In a small bowl mix together the crumbs, sugar and butter.  Press onto the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.  Bake for 10 minutes, remove and allow to cool slightly.

In a stand up mixer, combine the cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla and mix until well blended.  Add eggs, one at a time, on low speed until blended well.  Stir in sour cream.  Pour into the crust.

Bake for 1 hour and 5-10 minutes or until center is almost set.  Remove and run a knife around the rim of the pan and set aside to cool.  Refrigerate overnight.

For the topping:

In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.  Continue cooking until amber in color, about 7-10 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally.  Stir in the butter and cook over low heat until the butter is melted and incorporated.  Add the apples and brandy, stir to coat in the caramel.  Cook, stirring over medium heat until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and cool before topping the cheesecake.  Topping can be made one day ahead.  Allow to come to room temperature before topping the cheesecake.


48 thoughts on “By Request: Caramelized Apple New York Cheesecake

    1. NY Cheesecake is my favorite classic cheesecake. This is the one that freezes the best and can be topped with really anything. So glad you love it too!!

  1. Wow!!! This looks like it could get me into a heap of trouble! I am so glad you gave us the cheesecake lowdown too. Mine always crack. I am anxious to try your tips.

    1. I agree Geni, that’s why I always make cheesecakes to BRING to someone else, lol!! It gets it out of my kitchen 🙂 Truly, honestly, Geni, my cheesecakes do not crack. Years ago they certainly did, but the use of the water in the baking pan (I don’t like to fuss with a water bath method) and by not overbeating the filling (which means really having the cream cheese room temp), you should have crack free cheesecakes!! But, then again, if they do crack, the topping will cover it up!!

  2. You are so right, this would be a perfect cheesecake for Thanksgiving. Reminds me of an old Nanny episode where they are all laying around, stuffed from the holiday meal, groaning about how uncomfortable and full they are … then someone mentions cheesecake and they all agree they could have just a bite or two. Ha! I imagine this dessert would cause the same reaction–who could say no?!

  3. What a great cheesecake, especially using apples to top it off. And I’m with you, Linda. I bring mine to parties and never have to worry about finishing off 3/4 of a cheesecake left in my fridge. Thanks for the baking tips, too. There’s only so much decorating one can do to cover a cracked surface, especially one that takes on Grand Canyon proportions. 🙂

    1. Oh yes, those caved in cheesecakes! That’s from over baking! The problem with cheesecakes is that you can’t stick a toothpick in it to make sure it’s done, so many people over bake them. I do remember you mentioning you also take your cheesecakes to friends so you’re not left with temptation!

  4. Yum, I love cheesecake! The baking tips are great, since I never made a cheesecake before so it will come in handy. I like how you added the apples on top, so pretty.

  5. Wow, that topping looks… incredible. Sweet and delicious. I adore cheesecake, it’s my favourite dessert, so you know the way to this guy’s heart, that’s for sure! Can I make a request as well? Can you post a biscotti… I’ve been wanting to make them for so long, and you’re the “Biscotti Queen” in my eyes… If you post one I *promise* that this time I will make it… do you know of any with lemon, or lemon zest inside?

  6. I can see why this was requested Linda! It looks absolutely amazing. I mean caramelized apples anyway you have them are phenomenal, but topped on a NY cheesecake?! I’d be hard pressed to control myself. And I know exactly what you mean about your blog become a place where can relive old memories and find comfort. I was preparing a post today that isn’t really about food – but more the traditions behind our family’s food and I thought the same thing. The blog has really become more than just recipes, but a place that stores my thoughts and memories too. And it’s fun to think that there are those that we’ve met that are a part of them too. 🙂

    1. Funny that I thought of you when I was writing that as the memories you are creating with your kids are something they can look back on when they are grown! Do you think we will be having these blogs up in 20 years from now?! Something to think about! Scary too 🙂

  7. I’m so very glad you’ve done a page for Cheesecakes. Although I was successful with one, the first one I tried was a disaster and I didn’t know why. These tips are so helpful. I can’t wait for the next special occasion to bake one. It might not be until Christmas.. that’s going to take so long! Our Thanksgiving is long past! xx Smidge

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