How ’bout them apples

     So I got it into my head one day to bake a cheesecake, keep in mind that I get it into my head to make cheesecake alot, the thing is, I’m generally missing an ingredient or two and am thwarted in my quest before it even begins. But today, today I had it all, and all I needed was just the right recipe. I had soo many choices, New York style? maybe, sour cream? nope, caramel apple? done it before, then I remembered that I had this really good classic baking cookbook that I hadn’t really broken into yet.
     So out it came, then the perusing of the cheesecake section came up with this amazing “Apple & Raisin Cheesecake” that looked great in the photo and seemed simple enough to make, with some small details to make it unique. So this is my adventure in following an old fashioned recipe and hoping for the best results. Music courtesy of the Samsung milk app set to UK Hits. If you’re not sure about this, it’s basically a less awesome version of Pandora with a cool control dial, it does help me to change it up every now and again.


     Let’s get started:
                    You will need:

          2C. All purpose flour + extra for dusting            ⅓C. Granulated sugar
          1¾  sticks unsalted butter, cut into small dice            1 Egg
          1tsp. Vanilla extract                                                      4tsp.  Rum
          Large Pinch of Baking Powder
          3¼C. Reduced fat cream cheese, softened           2 Tbs. Lemon juice
          ¼C. Cornstarch                                                        3 Eggs
          ½C. Granulated sugar                                            1 tsp. Vanilla extract
          ¼C. Raisins                        ½C. Black tea (a.k.a. English Breakfast tea)
          4 Pippin apples (I couldn’t find that type, so I used medium sized apples)
  Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Prep raisins for the topping; steep 1 black tea bag in ½C. of water, put raisins in a small bowl, pour tea our raisins, set aside and let soak for 1 hour (or longer).

To start on the crust, sift flour and baking powder in a bowl and stir in the sugar.

 Add diced butter and rub into flour with fingers until loose and crumbly. Add egg, vanilla and rum (sorry forgot to take pics of that part) knead vigorously until dough is firm.

Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge  for 30min. (or longer if you forget).

While waiting for your raisins to soak and your dough to rest, get started on those apples. Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Then, using a paring knife, score 4-5 cross-hatches about ¼in. deep on each quarter. Set aside, and grab that dough out of the fridge.


Pre-heat oven to 325⁰ F. Grease and line an 11in. springform pan.

Roll out dough on a floured surface (or Silpat if you have one) to the diameter of the pan (👆don’t do that), place the dough in the greased pan..
…and prick with a fork many, many times. Bake for about 20 min, until lightly browned. Take out and let cool, but leave the oven ON.

This is what happens when your dough is bigger than the pan, eminent collapse. It doesn’t change the taste as far as I could tell, just doesn’t look as pretty.


Stick with me, the last major part is about to begin. I warned you that it was simple, just very detailed.

Grab all the ingredients for the filling,


put cream cheese, cornstarch and lemon juice in a large bowl…

    …blend until smooth and creamy. 


Meanwhile, in a separate, much smaller bowl, combine eggs, sugar and vanilla until frothy, the original recipe says fluffy, but I sure as hell didn’t get fluffy anything (maybe my eggs were old or it was the fact that I actually used a whisk).

How 'bout them apples

Pour the egg, sugar, vanilla mix into the cheese, lemon juice, cornstarch mix and well…


     Here’s where it all comes together. Finally, strain those raisins that have been soaking for like forever, find the apples you cut up and did such fancy knife work on and that pan of pie crust that you set aside, yeah, grab that too. Keep them at hand…

Pour batter (can I call it a batter, whatever, I call everything a batter) over the crust and smooth over with a spatula, or the back of a spoon. Don’t gotta get fancy, you’ve just spent a good few hours in the kitchen dealing with details.

Annnd because I, again, forgot to take a pic, I took this shot in the oven. Arrange the apples, over top of the batter and make it rain raisins over everything. Place in a bain marie (a.k.a. water bath, since I’m pretty sure that I spelled bain marie wrong), now over the years I’ve had too many issues with water getting into my cheesecakes to count, but I finally figured out a way to make it work. Wrap pan in 2 layers of plastic wrap, then cover in 2 layers of aluminium foil.

Place cheesecake in oven for 50-60 min. depending on your oven, until cheesecake is set and apples are a pretty golden brown…

…take out, let cool and dust with that confectioners’ sugar you forgot all about (as you can see I did too).

That’s it, your done, I know kinda anti-climatic after all that work. There are a few things I would change about this recipe, and when I redo it, I will definitely post if these changes make a difference. For one, my family is very snobby about cheesecake and prefer New York style over anything else, so I  will have use my tried and true cheesecake recipe and I will have to see if i can find Pippin apples, who knows, maybe they do taste different. 

Thanks so much for reading, ENJOY!