Apple Caramel Cheescake
In this recipe from “Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook” (The Taunton Press, 2007, $22), a light sponge cake layer pairs perfectly with a cream
- APPLE CARAMEL TOPPING:
- 1 recipe 9-inch Junior’s sponge cake crust (see recipe)
- 3 large firm, crisp red-skinned apples (such as Gala or Jonathan)
- 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup cornstarch (divided)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/3 cups sugar (divided)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
- 2 large firm, crisp red-skinned apples
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 cup caramel ice cream topping
- JUNIOR'S SPONGE CAKE CRUST (MAKES ONE 9-INCH CRUST)
- 1/3 cup sifted cake flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 extra-large eggs, separated
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 drops pure lemon extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Adapted from jsonline.com
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.
Make and bake sponge cake crust (see below) and leave it in pan. Keep oven on.
To make filling, peel and core the 3 large apples into ½-inch pieces. In a small saucepan, combine cider, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon and whisk until completely dissolved. Stirring constantly, bring to a full boil over medium heat and continue to boil until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in apples. Set aside to cool while you make the cake.
Put 1 package of cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and ¼ cup cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping bowl several times. Blend in remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat in remaining 1 cup sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in cream just until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix. Gently spoon batter on top of crust, then spoon apple mixture over batterbutter, gently spreading it almost to edge of pan, completely covering cake.
Place cheesecake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up side of springform. Bake in preheated oven until edges are light golden brown and top is slightly golden tan, about 1 ¼ hours. Remove cheesecake from water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool 2 hours. Leave cake in pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or at least 4 hours.
Decorate within a few hours of serving so apples stay fresh and crisp.
To make topping: Core apples and thinly slice into bite-size pieces (leave on peel if you like). Toss with lemon juice. Release and remove side of springform, leaving cake on bottom of pan. Place on a serving plate. Top with apples.
Warm the caramel ice cream topping (do not boil), then drizzle it from the top of a small spoon in stripes across top of cake, all around the edges and some down the side. Return cake to refrigerator until caramel has set, 30 minutes. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.
To serve, slice with a sharp, straight-edge knife (not serrated). Cover and refrigerate leftovers. Do not freeze.
To make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously butter bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan (preferably nonstick). Wrap outside with aluminum foil, covering bottom and extending all the way up the sides.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with electric mixer on high speed 3 minutes. With mixer running, slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and beat until thick, light yellow ribbons form, about 5 minutes more. Beat in extracts.
Sift flour mixture over batter and stir in by hand, just until no more white flecks appear. Now, blend in the melted butter. Transfer to another bowl.
Wash mixer bowl and beaters really well. Add egg whites and cream of tartar and beat on high speed until frothy. Gradually add remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold about one-third of the whites into the batter, then the remaining whites. Don’t worry if you see a few white specks; they’ll disappear during baking.
Gently spread out the batter over bottom of pan, and bake in preheated oven until set and golden, about 10 minutes. Touch cake gently in center. If it springs back, it’s done. Watch carefully and don’t let the top brown. Leave crust in pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Leave oven on while you prepare batter.