Oh yes, this apple cheesecake. A short, buttery crust, a thick layer of creamy vanilla cheesecake, tender spicy apples, and a delicious streusel topping. Oh, and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce. The best!
Giveaway Alert! I’m giving away a copy of the cookbook I got this recipe from: Roy Fares’ ‘United States of Cakes’. Click here to enter the giveaway.
Yes, this cheesecake. It’s amazing. And delicious. And a bit over the top but in the best way possible. And very fall appropriate. Or should I say: rainy days, fallen leaves, and wearing a new scarf appropriate?
Um, let me tell you about my September so far. The beginning of fall has been a little crazy around here this year. As in: 30 degrees C (so about 90 degrees F) kind of crazy! Last week, the Netherlands was struck by a scorching heat wave. Which is really unusual, seeing as how it’s normally grey and drizzly around here, even in summer (spend most of August wearing a cardigan and boots). And when heat like that hits us, all I want is to soak in one of those inflatable kiddie pools with my oh-so-precious Baby Boy and Rocking Rebel, reading Robin Hobb’s ‘Golden Fool‘ (which I just received in the mail. Yay!) and eating pretzels, and all right take the occasional stroll in the park because lying around in a pool all day makes my fingers wrinkly.
But. Despite the heat, I made apple cheesecake. We don’t have an inflatable pool anyway, and I couldn’t wait to try out a recipe. I told you guys about this amazing cookbook I got from the library, right? Roy Fares’ cookbook ‘United States of Cakes‘? Well, this apple cheesecake is on the cover, and despite the ridiculous temperatures and the fact that it was really too hot to turn on the oven, I couldn’t resist. So I made apple cheesecake. And salted caramel sauce. Because YUM!
I didn’t mess around with this recipe a lot. Usually, when I make a recipe from a cookbook, I adapt it a little here and there. I’m obnoxious that way. But this time, I thought I’d just DO WHAT THE RECIPE SAYS. For a change, you know.
I only made two tiny changes. First, I used vanilla extract instead of vanilla sugar, because I didn’t have any. Second, I changed the caramel drizzle. Roy Fares – do you know him? He’s an award-winning pastry chef from Sweden (Lebanon originally) and he’s kind of cute – tops the cheesecake with dulce de leche, but I didn’t feel like cooking a can of sweetened, condensed milk for 3 or 4 hours. So I whipped up my delicious salted caramel sauce instead.
I actually used grey sea salt in the caramel sauce this time. I recently learned that yes there is such a thing as grey sea salt. So I bought some, tasted it and found that it tastes WAY better than the white stuff. A lot more mellow, more like fleur de sel, but not quite so pricy. I LOVED it in the caramel.
And the caramel, in turn, was amazing drizzled over the cake!
Making the cheesecake was pretty easy, too. Just whip up a simple crust by rubbing together flour, sugar and butter, pressing the dough into a springform pan, and baking until golden. Mr. Fares uses a 22-cm (8.5-inch) springform pan, which I had bought a couple of years ago from IKEA, so that worked out perfectly.
Next, you make the streusel topping, again by rubbing stuff together with your fingers. You then peel, core and cut some apples. Toss with spices. Then mix up the cheesecake batter. It’s all pretty straightforward, but there are a lot of steps to this recipe. Because of all the different layers, obviously…
But oh, those layers are sooo worth it. Just check them out. That buttery crust that just melts in your mouth. That thick layer of vanilla-y cheesecake. Juicy apples spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. Awesome, buttery, golden streusel. And that caramel. I need another piece of this cake! I don’t care how hot it is, I need apple cheesecake in my life right now. And an inflatable kiddie pool 😉
I’m so glad I found Roy’s cookbook! I keep drooling over the photos. There’s also a recipe for Espresso Cake with marshmallow fluff which I reckon must be really good, and a recipe for Peanut Butter Donuts, which look insane! So, so happy!
But make this first guys. This recipe is soooo good!
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- 110g (or ½ cup – 1 teaspoon) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 45g (or 3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) granulated sugar
- 160g (or 1¼ cup + 1½ teaspoons) all-purpose flour
- 50g (or ¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 90g (or ½ cup + 3 tablespoons + 1½ teaspoon) all-purpose flour
- 20g (or 3 tablespoons + 1½ teaspoon ) rolled oats
- 60g (or ¼ cup + ½ teaspoon) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- 2 large apples, I used Granny Smiths
- 600g (or 21 ounces) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 180g (or ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 20g (or 2 tablespoons + 1½ teaspoon) all-purpose flour
- 50ml (or 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) heavy whipping cream
- 3 large eggs, about 165g total
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter to grease the pan
- Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting). In a medium-sized bowl, rub all crust ingredients together with your fingers until a crumbly dough forms. Press the dough into the bottom of a 22-cm/8.5-inch springform pan. Smooth the top with your fingers, then bake the crust on a rack in the middle of the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature in the pan.
- In a small bowl, rub all streusel ingredients together with your fingers until a crumbly dough forms. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (standard oven setting). In a medium-sized bowl, mix the tablespoon of granulated sugar with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Peel and core the apples, cut into quarters, then cut each quarter in half again and cut each eight of an apple in 5 or 6 cubes. Add to the bowl with the spicy sugar and toss to coat.
- In a large bowl and using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, 180g of sugar, vanilla and flour until fluffy and creamy. Mix in the cream, then add the eggs on at a time, mixing well after each addition until the mixture looks smooth. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl if necessary.
- Butter the sides of the springform pan and place a fine-meshed strainer over the top. Strain the cheesecake batter through the strainer onto the prepared crust to get rid of any little lumps of cream cheese and get the smoothest cheesecake ever. Discard the lumps and lightly rap the pan on the counter to work any bubbles up to the surface. Finally, scatter the spiced apples over the top of the cheesecake layer and top with the streusel.
- Bake the cheesecake on a rack in the middle of the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the streusel has taken on a pale golden color. Turn off the oven, open the oven door and prop it open 2 inches or so. Allow the cheesecake to cool like that in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature before wrapping it in plastic wrap and placing it in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- When you’re ready to serve the cheesecake, carefully slide a knife around the cake before removing the springform collar, then use a knife to loosen the cake from the bottom of the pan, then transfer to a serving plate. Drizzle with the caramel sauce, and enjoy! Cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
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Hi Nila, This Apple Cheesecake looks absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing. I am a new subscriber and I am loving your blog. Have a beautiful day.
The Tough Cookie says
Hi Merril, welcome to the blog 😀 The cheesecake was amazing. If you like apple pie, cheesecake, and caramel, you should definitely make it this fall!
Even though I am not a huge cheesecake fan (don’t hate me!), this looks so good I am tempted to try it. Put salted caramel on anything and I’d likely try it. I am going to look for grey sea salt. Who knew?
The Tough Cookie says
Hey Cindy, yes please try it! It’s soooo good, and thee are so many different textures and flavors, I’m sure you like it. Especially if you’re a bit more generous with the salted caramel. I had a lot of leftover caramel and drizzled a bit more over the cheesecake right before serving. The best 😉