Apples and honey cheesecake

Shana Tova, my friends. I’m not Jewish but I am thrilled to be done with 5780. To bring in a sweet new year, eating apples and honey is traditional. Cheesecake is not traditional, but cheesecake is really delicious. So, here’s my apples and honey cheesecake. Let’s get into it:

The Crust:

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • About 20 gingersnap cookies
  • 3-4 graham crackers
  • 4T butter, melted
  • Pinch of salt
  • Food processor
  • An 8, 9, or 10″ springform pan

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Get the almonds into a food processor and pulse them a few times. Add the gingersnap cookies, graham crackers, and salt, and pulse until the mixture turns to crumbs. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse until all the crumbs are moistened. Press the crust into the springform pan-I use the bottom of a glass to help pack it down. I generally don’t push the crust up the sides, but you do you.

The Apple Filling

  • 2 medium-sized apples, finely diced (I used one Honeycrisp and one Granny Smith. Use what you have, unless what you have is Red Delicious apples…in which case you need to stop stealing apples from hotel lobbies)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (substitute 1/4 cup water if you don’t have applesauce on hand)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1t vanilla
  • A couple grates of nutmeg. Don’t use pre-ground nutmeg. Nothing compares to fresh nutmeg.

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Get out your favorite pan and cook all of this down until the apples look like they’re in a thick syrup. Since this is getting layered inside of and on top of the cheesecake, it needs to be thick. A watery mixture will make your cheesecake, well, gross.

The Cheesecake

  • 4 bricks of soft cream cheese (32 oz)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2t vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3T honey (and a little more for drizzling later)
  • A water bath (an oven-safe bowl or vessel with water that goes on the rack under the cheesecake)
  • A 350ºF oven

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Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat on high for about 2 minutes. Cheesecake is pretty easy.

Add about half of the cream cheese mixture on top of the crust and smooth it out as best as you can. Plop little dollops of the apple mixture and swirl in with a knife or toothpick. Drizzle a little honey on top if you’re feeling frisky. I think I added caramel to this…I always add caramel to apples. Add the rest of the cream cheese mixture and smooth the top. Get the rest of the apples on the top, swirling, making things pretty, having a good time.

Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes uncovered (with the water bath underneath. Check “The Cheesecake” ingredients for description if needed). If the top is getting too brown, cover loosely with foil. Bake about 60-75 minutes total, or until the middle of the cheesecake has only a slight jiggle and a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Let cool, uncovered, on a wire rack or the stovetop to encourage airflow.

Shana Tova!

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