All Things Sweet

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Caramelized Apples

As much as all cake is fantastic in general, cheesecake is just a little bit special. Or a lot a bit special. I mean, come on, it’s basically the only kind of cake that does not have an actual “cake” texture, but a creamy one. Except maybe ice cream cake. But that’s basically just ice cream in between cake layers.

I digress . . .

This cheesecake was a total piece of cake to make. (Literally wondering now if this is where that expression came from). It’s not too heavy at all and it sure looks pretty on the table. Oh, and it is ABSOLUTELY divine!

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To start it, process 46 vanilla wafers in (big surprise) a food processor until finely ground. Add some sugar, salt, and melted butter, then pulse until well-combined.

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Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan, then bake at 350 for 12 minutes until dry and golden brown. Let cool completely. Imagine the possibilities with a crust like this!

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To make the vanilla bean filling, beat a pound of cream cheese in an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Add 1/2 cup of light corn syrup, some vanilla extract, and the seeds of a vanilla bean. Mix until well-combined. Anybody wanting a spoon at this point?

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In a clean bowl, beat a cup of cold heavy cream with some powdered sugar using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. I like to call this partially-whipped cream.

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Stir about a third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then gently fold in the rest. Now if only we had a place to put all this filling . . .

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Oh, here’s one! Plop the filling into the crust, spread out evenly, and smooth the top. Now stick it in the fridge for at least 3 hours to let it set. I let mine sit overnight but I like to think that I have the patience of a Jedi.

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When you’re ready to make the topping, peel, core, and slice 3 large, crisp apples (they have to be crisp otherwise they’ll turn mushy) into 1-inch chunks.

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Melt some butter, brown sugar, and salt together in a large skillet over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Toss in the apples and sautee for about 10 minutes until the apples are tender. Then splash in a 1/4 cup of heavy cream and let simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Seriously, someone just give me a bowl, a spoon, and a scoop of ice cream! Let the apples cool to room temperature.

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Plop the apples into a heaping pile in the middle of the cheesecake, then drizzle over any remaining caramel sauce left in the pan. Remove the cake from the springform pan and put it somewhere pretty!

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Like next to a pretty flower! Goodness gracious, is there anything more bountiful looking???

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Listen guys, I may not know a lot of things, but I DO know that this cheesecake is a very superb concoction. Heaven on a cake stand.

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I plan on making this the next time I have guests over for dinner because, seriously, everybody I shared this cake with couldn’t stop going on about it. It’s hypnotizing. And appetizing. And mesmerizing. And, later on, I’m exercising.

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Caramelized Apples

Source: All Things Sweet original recipe

Yield: Serves 8-10

Crust:

46 vanilla wafer cookies

3 tbsp. granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, pulse cookies until finely ground. Add the sugar, salt, and butter; pulse until combined. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and evenly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 12 minutes until crust is dry and set. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Vanilla Bean Filling:

1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean

1 cup cold heavy cream

3 tbsp. powdered sugar

 

With an electric mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add corn syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise with a sharp knife and scrape the seeds out of the center. Add seeds to the cream cheese mixture and mix again. In a clean bowl, beat cream and powdered sugar on high speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, stir about one-third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the rest. Pour filling into crust, smooth the top, and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.

Caramelized Apples:

3 large Honeycrisp or Pink Lady apples

5 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup heavy cream

 

Peel and core the apples, then cut into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar; cook and stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Add the apples. Sautee for about 10 minutes, until apples are tender. Pour in the cream and let simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let apples cool to room temperature.

When the cheesecake is set, remove from the refrigerator. Place the caramelized apples in a heaping pile in the center of the cake. Drizzle any remaining caramel sauce over the surface of the cake. Remove the cake from the springform pan and place on a cake plate to serve.

 

 

Kelcie Kromminga

Kelcie Kromminga

Hi! I'm Kelcie and I've got a major passion for dessert! I started this blog to help share my love for crafting sweet, beautiful, and crazy-delicious treats. I find baking to be an outlet for my creative side that just so happens to also satisfy the unstoppable sweet tooth with which I was born (I get that from my dad's side). The recipes I create are designed to be easy, yet produce that impressive "Wow!" and "Yum!" factor. When I'm not baking, you'll probably find me either reading, writing, gardening, or spending way too much time on Pinterest. I hope my recipes will help you find your own inner merriment for all things fun, beautiful, and (of course) sweet!

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