Tuesdays with Dorie….

Well, it is official, food blogging has ruined me.
When I first learned that we were making the Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake, I was overjoyed. You by now all know my love of cheesecake and so I wasted no time in making it. The very next morning after I learned of what we would be making this week, I awoke early to get started as I wanted cheesecake for breakfast! Cheesecake is after all, the breakfast of champions.
I took the cheesecake out of the oven and placed it on the rack to cool. Still at this point excited about the cheesecake. Then I released it from the spring form. Crap, crap, crap was all I thought. Now you may be thinking at this point that there was a large crack or it sunk, etc.
Nope. Not the case.
Hearing my rather loud “crap” comments coming from my mouth, my husband(who was working from home that day) came down to see what the fuss was about. I pointed to the cheesecake and said, “look at it!” He did. “Looks like cheesecake.” “It’s beige. Beige, beige and more beige.” A confused look formed on his face and I informed him very loudly…”beige food doesn’t photograph well!!!” Giving me the thanks for sharing crazy lady stare, my husband got a soda and went back upstairs.
Dorie doesn’t have a picture of this cheesecake in her cookbook…you know why? Because the whole thing is beige…and beige doesn’t photograph well! To make matters worse, when I cut into the cheesecake to plate it, the apples were, you guessed it….beige. Crap. I looked at the gray Pacific Northwest sky and thought yay, gray sky with beige food.
And this is how I knew food blogging had ruined me. No longer was I thinking hurry up and photograph this cheesecake so I can eat it, I was now thinking, how on earth am I going to photograph this cheesecake. Oh how owning a camera has changed me. Determined to give a little color contrast to pump it up, I sat and thought of things I could do to add punch to the cheesecake. I decided to go with one of my two standard back ups…when all else fails, throw either caramel or toffee sauce on it. I went with caramel. The recipe doesn’t call for it. I don’t care. Besides, caramel and apples were pretty much made for each other so I don’t know why Dorie didn’t think of it in the first place. :)
When all was said and done the beige cheesecake covered in caramel stepped up and decided to photograph nicely for me. And even more importantly….it tasted great(okay…maybe I am not totally ruined).
To see all of the Tuesday With Dorie’s entries go here.

Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • For the Crust
  • 30 gingersnaps
  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar
  • 1/2 TBSP ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 stick (4 TSBP) unsalted butter, melted
  • For the Apples
  • 1/2 stick (4 TBSP) unsalted butter
  • 3 large Golden Delicious or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths(I used Honeycrisps)
  • 2 TBSP (packed) light brown sugar
  • For the Filling
  • 1 1/2 pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (packed) 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
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Caramel Sauce for Drizzling

Instructions

  1. To Make the Crust: Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan.
  2. Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and whir until you have crumbs; you should have a scant 2 cups. (If you are using graham cracker crumbs, just put them in the food processor.)
  3. Pulse in the sugar and cinnamon, if you're using it, then pour over the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened.
  4. Turn the crumbs into the springform pan and, using your fingertips, firmly press them evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan as far as they'll go. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven. (The crust can be covered and frozen for up to 2 months.)
  5. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle the apples with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and cook them, turning, just until coated, another minute or so. Scrape the apples onto a plate, wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining apples. Let the apples cool while you make the filling.
  9. Getting Ready to Bake: Have a roasting pan large enough to hold the springform pan at hand. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
  10. To Make the Filling: Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed, scraping down the bowl often, for about 4 minutes, or until it is velvety smooth.
  11. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes. Beat in the cider, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  12. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in.
  13. Finally, beat in the sour cream and heavy cream, beating just until the batter is smooth.
  14. Pour about one third of the batter into the baked crust. Drain the apples by lifting them off the plate with a slotted spoon or spatula, and spoon them into the pan.
  15. Cover with the remaining batter and, if needed, jiggle the pan to even the top. Place the springform pan in the roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the springform 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.
  17. The cake will rise evenly and crack around the edges, and it should be fully set except, possibly, in the very center it sometimes shimmies, that's just fine.
  18. 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; overnight would be better.
  19. Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the crust, open the pan's latch and release and remove the sides.
  20. Source: Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, Houghton Mifflin Company, November 2006
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Comments

  1. It really looks good from where I’m sitting :) YUM

  2. peabody, this is the first time i put a comment in your blog. i’ve been reading and looking at your blog in passing, your food pictures are always looking gorgeous. i saw an article in fooddary oregonian today and saw you in it, what an accomplishment!

  3. i was laughing when i read your post – you are absolutely a food blogger when the first thing you think of when the cheesecake comes out of the oven is – this won’t photograph well ;) i thought about topping mine w/caramel and apples and i’m sure that would have been prettier, but i was happy with the taste as it was, and was too lazy to cook up some more apples!

    great job! your photos are always gorgeous :)

  4. I love to laugh and you make it so good Peabody. But now I think you’ve totally ruined me.
    It’s in the book, no picture. Why didn’t Dorie think of that. It is so made for it!
    That is really gorgeous.

  5. Oh you TOTALLY crack me up!

  6. I’m so very glad the beige color inspired you to add caramel. Stunning photo and irresistible recipe. My self control decreases in proportion to the number of times I view your decadent site :)

  7. Your photos of any food, beige or not, with caramel sauce make me want to lick the screen. Soooo good.

  8. This looks dreamy…. all dressed up! YUM!!!!!!!

  9. Oh goodness, look at all that caramel drizzle! You should see my keyboard now. It’s the cheesecake and my drool is the drizzle. Excuse me while I clean up…:)
    Who gets to lick the plate?

  10. I thought about doing caramel sauce myself, but ended up doing apple cider whipped cream. I think if I make this again I’ll do both! :)

  11. I would have thought and done the same thing. I now find myself “feeding the blog” instead of feeding us! :) Ahhh, the life of a food blogger…

  12. Kudos to you, my friend – brilliant solution!

  13. Well, I guess it’s ruined you, but in a good way. The pictures are lovely and the caramel flavor is made for apples.

  14. LOL – at least you know how to make beige look good. If all beige things looked this tasty, I think beige would be everyone’s favorite color! Nice work!

  15. Looks amazing to me! I’m ready to dive in with my fork! My mother always said you could have cake for breakfast if you had a glass of milk to balance it out…so I see nothing wrong with cheesecake for breakfast! Thanks for a beautiful post!

  16. It’s true, your blog makes my day!

  17. looks fabulously delicious!

  18. Beige is beautiful, baby! Beige is beautiful!

  19. You are killing me! That picture is incredible, I want to jump into the screen and eat that cheesecake, right now!

  20. Your pictures came out beautiful and the cheesecake looks absolutely delicious. What a wonderful combination – apples and caramel!

  21. Are you kidding? That cake looks insanely good – and this is coming from a person who is not 100% hot on cheesecake. I love the flavors here. Fantastic job Pea!

  22. Gorgeous pictures of a gorgeous cake! The caramel looks dreamy!

  23. Okay I’ve already commented on your gorgeous cheesecake, but I hadda click on your blog right away after I got done reading Elle’s post on her doughnuts.. I’VE GOT OTHER BLOGGERS CALLING YOU GRACIE!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

    It is officially a good day. :)

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  24. The photographs did turn out well! I can totally relate to this post! Happy valentine’s day!

  25. It looks great! I get maybe one good photo out of a trillion with my camera and the fact that I am usually trying to snap a pic when we are ready to eat whatever it is that I am going to post about. It’s usually at night after working and cooking and so that’s my excuse. Wawawa…
    Your photos are beautiful though and it’s clear that you are a real stylist. I envy you. :P
    Your cheesecake is droolingly beautiful.
    Well done!
    xoxo

  26. I’ve made that cheesecake before…it was so good! Having to take pictures of what you make is just so much harder, isn’t it?

  27. I have never met a cheescake I didn’t like, and this definitely seems like a winner. I absolutely love the picture..!

  28. I’m back….that first picture is just perfect…just wanted to let you know :)

  29. Good save! I eat with my eyes and my eyes says caramel sauce!! not “beige” :)

  30. Oh my! That is heaven!

  31. Everything tastes better with caramel!

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