Each year for Thanksgiving our family devies up who is bringing what. The hostess always cooks the turkey, but the sides and dessert are left up to the rest of us to bring along. We’re in charge of dessert, but if there’s one thing that my husband isn’t crazy about it’s pie.
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Mike isn’t a huge fan of sweets, but he’ll never pass up a slice of cheesecake. So, I put a fall spin on our family favorite cheesecake recipe that gives just the right amount of sweet, but still has that tartness of traditional cheesecake.
However, when it comes to cheesecake recipes you’ll be hardpressed to find one out there that doesn’t include flour or gluten. My cheesecake recipe omits the flour and traditional graham cracker crust leaving you with simple ingredients that result in the fluffiest cheesecake you’ll ever have. Toss in cooked cinnamon apples and a hint of caramel, and you have a perfect dessert to please any crowd this holiday season!
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TIPS FOR THE PERFECT CHEESECAKE
Tip #1 Don’t let the cream cheese get soft
This really came about by trial and error (five times in fact). Most recipe for cheesecake instruct you to let the blocks of cream cheese warm to room temperature and become soft before blending. I have found that this results in the cheesecake sinking once pulled form the oven and having a dense texture after cooling. Instead, set your cream cheese out on the counter an hour before baking giving them just enough time to loosen a bit. Then, one at a time add to the mixer and blend until smooth.
Tip#2 Keep the eggs chilled.
Again by trial and error, letting the eggs warm to room temperature led to a very soupy batter which resulted in a dense cheesecake that ended up falling. Just as the cream cheese, set the eggs out an hour before baking. The eggs will start warming but will still be slightly cool to the touch.
Tip#3 Cool in the Oven.
This probably seems like an oxymoron, but trust me. Your cheesecake will fall flat if you remove it immediately after the timer goes off. The extreme change in temperature causes the cheesecake to contract and shrink! Instead, turn the oven off and crack open the door. Let the cheesecake cool for 15-20 minutes in the oven. Then, let it rest on the counter for while before transfering it to the refrigerator.
HOW TO BAKE APPLE CRISP CHEESECAKE
|Serving Size:||Cooking Time:||Difficulty:|
|14-16 people||50 minutes||Intermediate|
2 packages Gluten Free Breakfast Biscuits (I use Goodie Girl) in Cinnamon Brown Sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 8oz. packages cream cheese, slightly cool
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, slightly cool
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup caramel sauce
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 16oz. sour cream
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon, separated
Sprinkle of Nutmeg
APPLE CRISP TOPPING:
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, thinly sliced
Reserved Crushed Breakfast Biscuit mixture
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare your spring form pan by greasing your pan and adding a layer of parchment paper to the bottom only. I love these!
- Gather your ingredients. I like to set my cream cheese and eggs out about an hour before I begin cooking to give them time warm up a bit while I gather everything I will need.
- Mix your crust. I place all the breakfast biscuits in a gallon bag. Then, using my rolling pin I crush them. Melt your butter, and mix both the crushed breakfast biscuits and the mleted butter together in a bowl. Serve 3/4 cup of the mixture to be used as a topping at the end. Place the remaining mixture in your prepared spring form pan. I prefer to use a spatula to press the mixture down until nicely packed, but you can use your fingers too.
- Bake your crust for 7-9 min at 350 degrees while you prepare your cake.
- Mix your cake. In a large bowl, add one block of cream cheese at a time. Using your hand mixer beat until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and caramel. Beat until well blended. Add one egg at a time making sure to blend well. Pour into crust.
- Set your oven to 375 degrees and bake your cake for 35 minutes.
- Prepare your apple crisp topping by peeling and slicing the Granny Smoith apple very thin. Coat apple slices with 2 Tablespoons and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon. Saute coated apple slices in butter on stovetop. Set aside. Brown leftover reserved crust in the same pan. Set aside.
- Prepare cake topping by beating sour cream for 2 minutes. Add 3 Tablespoons of sugar 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and vanilla extract. Blend well, spread over cake, and sprinkle nutmeg over top.
- Set your oven to 500 degrees and bake 5 minutes.
- Remove and layer cooked apples over top. Sprinkle toasted crust crumbs around the outer ring of the cheesecake. Put back in the oven to cool for 15-20 minutes with the oven door cracked.
- Let cheesecake rest on the counter for 10 minutes or so. Then, chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat. The cheesecake needs to chill for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best!
SUBSTITUTIONS & SUGGESTIONS
- You can substitute BelVita Breakfast bicuits for a non-gluten free option or regular gragham crackers, but I definitely enjoy the oats the breakfast bicuits add to the crust and topping texture.
- Chopped nuts would be a great addition to the crust or as a topping.
- Top if off with caramel drizzled over top for the perfect touch!
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It took me five tries to perfect this recipe, but it was well worth it! This has quickly become a favorite that I know we’ll be making again throughout the holiday festivities!