So, are you savoring these last days of Fall while getting ready for Thanksgiving still embracing the pumpkins, leaves and colors of the season? Or have you just gone full blown into Christmas and all around you is red and green and your Thanksgiving meal will be celebrated with Christmas décor? People have very strong feelings about this and prefer each holiday to have its own time. Me personally I put up my Christmas Tree on November 1st. I used to wait until after Thanksgiving, but I would always feel rushed then to get all my decorating done in one day. The tree up, décor around the house and the lights outside. It was just too much. So, a few years ago I decided that I would set up my tree right after Halloween. I will wait until Thanksgiving week though to turn it on and enjoy it all lit up. I must say though that this year I found that people really had some strong feelings about people jumping into Christmas right after Halloween. Is it really that big of a deal? Just do you own thing and don’t fault others for wanting to spread some holiday cheer a little early. Regardless, today’s dessert might just be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table. It combines quite a few desserts into one, an Apple Crisp Cheesecake. You get your apples, a crisp topping and a cheesecake all tied together into one yummy dessert.
I started off by making the crisp topping since it needed to be chilled, then the apples and finally the cheesecake part. To assemble, I started off by filling a 9-inch graham cracker crust with the cheesecake filling. I added in some apple pie spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger – to the cheesecake to help tie all the flavors together since I did add cinnamon to both the apples and crisp topping.
I then arranged the apples over the filling. First in an even layer and then placed the remaining apples over them. I tossed the apples with lemon juice, cinnamon and brown sugar. I used Granny Smith apples, so they weren’t very sweet or mushy after baking.
And finally, I sprinkled the chilled crisp topping over the apples. Initially I wasn’t planning on baking the cheesecake on a baking sheet, but, as I started to sprinkle the topping on it, I thought it best to bake it on the sheet just in case any of the topping fell off. The reason I chilled the crisp topping was to minimize the chances of it over-browning or burning too quickly while in the oven.
I baked the cheesecake for just shy of an hour and then let it cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before placing it on a wire rack to cool completely. It’s best to let cool it for a few minutes on the pan before transferring it so the cheesecake can firm up a bit. The apples will release some juices while baking and while the cheesecake will be done it will feel soft due to these extra juices.
Once the cheesecake had cooled completely, I refrigerated it overnight. And the next day it was time to slice it and enjoy a piece. And I must say, this came out just as I had hoped and envisioned in my head. As with the Apple Tiramisu from the other day it wasn’t overly sweet and all the components worked well together.
Apple Crisp Cheesecake
9-inch graham cracker crust
For the Cheesecake:
2 8oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ginger
2 large eggs, at room temperature
For the Apple Topping:
2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored & sliced thin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
For the Crisp Topping:
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, softened
Preheat oven to 325 F.
For the Crisp Topping: In a medium bowl mix together the oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Add in the butter and mix until the mixture is crumbly. It might be best to use your hands. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
For the Apple Topping: In a medium bowl toss together the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar until the apples are well coated. Set aside.
For the Cheesecake: In a large bowl beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger with a hand mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs and continue beating until the eggs are incorporated into the batter.
Assemble: Place the graham cracker crust on a baking sheet then pour the cheesecake batter into the crust. Arrange the apples evenly over the batter and then sprinkle the crisp topping over the apples.
Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, until the center is set. To prevent the crisp topping from over-browning or burning, tent the cheesecake with aluminum foil for the last 15-20 minutes.
Cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (or overnight) before serving.
Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.