I had a friend ask if I could make her a dessert for her family for the day before Thanksgiving. She had relatives coming into town on Wednesday and was planning a big dinner. The first couple of ideas that came to mind would have required her to bake or prepare in some way so I crossed them off my list. I thought of Tiramisu, but she was making a coffee gravy brisket so that would have been too much coffee. I finally settled on an Autumn Cheesecake, it’s not a traditional Thanksgiving dessert and so it won’t compete with the next days offerings, yet it still is festive.
It is a fairly easy to make recipe, with great results.
Autumn Cheesecake Ingredients
For the crust
- 8-9 Graham crackers finely chopped to crumbs = 1+ cups
- 1/2 cup very finely chopped pecans
- 3 Tbs Sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 5 Tbs butter melted
For the Batter
- 2 -8oz packages cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
For the apple layer
- 7-8 baking apples (ie: Granny Smith)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
For the topping
- 4-5 Tbs apricot preserve melted
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans (lightly toasted optional)
Directions for the Autumn Cheesecake
For the Apple layer:
Peel and core the apples and slice thinly add to the sugar and cinnamon and mix well until all the apples are coated. Set aside.
For the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°
In a small sauce pan melt the butter
In the food processor add the pecans and chop until very fine, add the Graham crackers and pulse until finely chopped and put mixture into a bowl. Add the butter and with a fork stir to combine, until all the cracker is wet with butter and no dry parts are still visible.
Place the mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan and press down to form a solid bottom crust. Place into the center of the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, remove to a wire rack to cool..
For the batter:
In the bowl of the mixer place the softened cream cheese and the sugar and on medium speed cream until well combined, scrape down the sides of the bowl and the blades of the mixer add the vanilla and on medium low add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat until each is well incorporated. Pour into the cooled springform pan and smooth the mixture level.
Arrange the apples in decorative layer over the batter and then place the pan into the oven and bake for about 70 minutes.
Remove to a wire rack to cool.
In the mean time melt the preserve and once the apples a lightly cooled brush the preserve over apples to coat all and give a nice sheen to the top. Sprinkle the pecans over the apples. Now carefully run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen from the sides of the pan and then cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, overnight even better.
Remove from the refrigerator about an hour before serving and remove the sides of the springform pan. Sit back and wait for the Ohhs and Ahhs!
I’m a very spoiled SAP (Scottish American Princess) and I don’t care for cinnamon, but the cheese and cake layers are divine! So a reluctant 5 paws for the effort.
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