I’m not gonna lie, classic baked cheesecakes can be finicky, and making a perfect one without any cracks is not the easiest thing in the world. Sure, there are things you can do like adding a bit of cornstarch to the batter, not overbeating the eggs and using a water bath to protect the delicate custard from the direct heat of the oven, but sometimes, even after following every precaution, your cheesecake splits. But have no fear! All is well! That’s what the spiced apple topping is for. Just pile it on, and no one will be any the wiser. –Mary Berg
Mary Berg's Spiced Apple Cheesecake
- 7 oz crispy spice cookies such as Biscoff or gingersnaps
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 6 tbsp melted butter
- 1¼ cups sugar divided
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 3 cups brick-style cream cheese room temperature
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup 35% whipping cream
Spiced Apple Topping
- 4 green apples peeled and cored
- ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp apple brandy optional
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- Preheat your oven to 350°F, grease a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray, and wrap the outside of the pan with aluminum foil.
- In a food processor, blitz the cookies into fine crumbs. Add the flour, salt and melted butter and pulse to combine. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool.
- Meanwhile, whisk together ½ cup of sugar with the cornstarch and cinnamon in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 1 cup of cream cheese and beat on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the remaining cream cheese and sugar and beat on medium speed until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time, on medium speed followed by the vanilla. Add the cream and continue to beat just until completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Pour the filling onto the cooled crust. Pour the hot boiled water into the larger pan until it comes about halfway up the side of the springform pan to create a water bath. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until the edge of the cheesecake is set but the centre still has a wobble.
- Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and allow it to cool completely to room temperature. Cover and transfer to the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
- For the topping, slice the apples into thin wedges and squeeze the lemon juice over them, tossing to coat. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat then add the apples. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the brandy, if using, and allow it to simmer for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt and continue to cook until sticky and the apples are quite soft but still holding their shape, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.
- The topping can be served warm on top of slices of chilled cheesecake or cooled to room temperature and spooned over the whole cheesecake and chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.