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
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.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.