Despite not making a lot of cheesecakes, I really enjoy them at special occasions (or any other time, I suppose). With fall weather approaching, I dug up a recipe from one of my favourite baking books, and made caramel apple cheesecake this week.
Regan Daley’s In The Sweet Kitchen is one of my favourite baking guides; her flavours, combinations and creativity appeal to me. Her recipe for this cheesecake required two things I didn’t have on hand: oatmeal cookies and dried apple rings.
At a grocer near my office, I picked up Highland Oatcakes. They’re marketed for serving with cheese, and have much less sugar and fat than any of the available cookies. The cheesecake recipe includes the usual suspects, plus heavy cream and Calvados. I substituted Apfelkorn, but wonder if buying a bottle of the French spirit would be worth it: it’s twice as expensive, but has twice the alcohol too, meaning its flavour might be more prominent. True to the recipe’s description, the cake finished baking with a smooth top, without cracking.
It took a few more days before I could acquire the other missing ingredient. A bulk store would have been the obvious choice, but none were located conveniently along my daily commute. I ended up scouring the aisles of a Loblaws three times before finding a package of dried apple rings.
The caramel sauce is where most of the apple flavour in this cheesecake comes from. Adding the dried rings is a clever way to add a concentrated dose of fruit flavour, without watering down the sauce. To give a nicer presentation, I used kitchen shears to cut the fruit up into smaller pieces. The sauce yield wasn’t enough for me, and I would make a double batch the next time.
Overall, this is quite a delicious cheesecake, with its warm, slightly tart sauce providing a nice complement to the subtly flavoured cake. I would definitely make it again.