I serve this cheesecake cold with warm caramelized apples. It’s so good together! The contrast of flavours and textures in this dessert are heightened with the warm apples that have been slowly cooked. It is not a sauce, but like a side dish of caramelized translucent apples to complement your cheesecake. I serve it with a dollop of whipped cream, but it is not necessary.
This smooth and creamy plain cheesecake is a perfect base for the caramelized apples, or with anything.
I have used a crumb crust using Biscoff cookies with their mild spice and buttery caramel flavours, but of course you could use a graham cracker crumb crust instead.
I put this in a shallower false bottom flan pan to give it more surface area for the apples to cover.
But you could use a 9” (23cm) springform making sure that you bring the crust at least halfway up the sides. When baking the cheesecake, increase the second baking time by about 20 minutes.
Ingredients for Cheesecake with Caramelized Apples
Royal Gala, Granny Smith, Cortland or Fuji are all good firm apples to use. Wash, peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut each quarter in half. (Cut the apples in eighths). I cut the wedges a little large and cook them slowly so they are translucent like those gorgeous French candied fruit from Provence. A cast iron skillet is best for even heat distribution, but gently moving the apples around any pan is fine.
I suggest using organic apples if you can as apples tend to be grown with the most pesticides.
I start with the caramelized apples because you can make them days in advance but you can do them anytime since the cheesecake should cool completely.
Start by washing, peeling and quartering the apples. Cut out the cores and cut each quarter in half or in thirds if you would rather.
Heat the pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon evenly over and add the apple pieces. Try to spread them out in a single layer but you can jostle them a bit as they cook and shrink moving the apples around as needed, but not much more.
After 20-30 minutes, turn them over and cook them for another 20-30 minutes. Do keep an eye on them as you want them to cook through and caramelize but be careful not to brown too much. Turn the heat down as needed.
Add the apple juice, stirring just to bring it all together. Turn off the heat. If not serving right away, let cool and store covered in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave as needed.
Cookie Crumb Crust
A cookie crumb crust pressed up the sides and bottom of the pan and cooking at a low temperature eliminates the need for the cheesecake to be baked in a water bath, I feel. When baking in a shallow flan pan it doesn’t give it much room to sit in water if wrapped. I do like to prebake the crust though.
Process the biscuits until fine in a food processor or place them in a bag and crush with a rolling pin then mix with melted unsalted butter. Any biscuits you use will likely have salt added to them.
Press into the bottom and up sides of the 10½” (27cm) flan or 9” (23cm) springform pan firmly and bake. Let cool before filling.
The Cheesecake Filling
Try to remember to bring all of your ingredients out half an hour to an hour ahead to make combining smoother and easier.
Add the sugar and cornstarch and beat for about 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl often right up from the bottom. This is the time where you can make the cheesecake batter smooth so mix well.
Add the eggs one at a time beating but not whipping, adding the next as each is fully incorporated. Blend in the vanilla.
Mix in the sour cream and whipping cream and add the lemon zest.
Pour the batter gently into the prepared crumb crust.
Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 10 minutes then 300°F (150°C) for 30 minutes. Turn th oven off but leave cheesecake in for one hour. Cool completely.
For best results, refrigerate over night or at least 4 hours before serving.
Serve slices with the warm caramelized apples on top or on the side.
Cheesecake with Caramelized Apples
- 1 10½" (27cm) Flan pan with false bottom or a 9" (23cm) springform pan
For the Caramelized Apples
- 2 Lbs 7 apples almost 1 kg
- ¼ cup unsalted butter 57g
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar (133g)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼-½ cups apple juice
For the Crust
- 1 package 32 Biscoff cookies (250g)
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (57g)
For the Cheesecake
- 2 250g packages cream cheese 16oz (500g)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150g)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup heavy cream (35%) (125mL)
- ½ cup sour cream (125mL)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest, fine
- Wash, peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut each quarter in half.
- Over medium heat in a large skillet, cast iron works well, melt the butter and sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over it.
- Place the apples in on their side, if they don't all fit in one layer just place the rest on top. They will cook down.
- Cook for about 30 minutes over medium heat moving the apples around only as needed.
- Turn them over and cook for another 25-30 minutes. The syrup should start to brown and caramelize and the apples will become translucent. Remove any that look like they are cooked enough before they brown too much.
- Turn off the heat and carefully add the apple juice. Gently turn the apples around to bring everything together.
- Serve this warm over pieces of cheesecake. You can also make it far in advance and keep it refrigerated. gently reheat as needed.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Finely crush the biscuits or grind in a food processor.
- Add the melted butter and combine until it all comes together.
- Press firmly into the 10½” (27cm) flan pan right up the sides. If you are using a 9” (23cm) springform pan press the crumbs ¾ up the side.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool at least 15 minutes before using.
- Beat the cream cheese to soften.
- Add the sugar and cornstarch and cream very well. You can beat it on high until it is very smooth.
- Add the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time as each is fully incorporated beating on medium speed.
- Mix in the whipping cream and the sour cream.
- Add the lemon zest.
- Pour into the prepared crust.
- Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 10 minutes. Without removing the cheescake lower the heat to 300°F (150°C) and bake for another 30 minutes.
- When it has finished baking turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in for another half an hour.
- Cool to room temperature completely before refrigerating.