The Cheesecake Factory is full of memories for me. My best friend and I used to down endless loaves of soft, warm, complementary bread loaves, enjoy a hearty meal, and then somehow find room for The Cheesecake Factory’s (T.C.F.) spectacular namesake.
Fast forward a few years to the newly wedded years: I introduce Husband to my beloved Cheesecake Factory. Love at first sight. Gotta love a man with good taste! (Even better if this means our date nights include cheesecake!) Though we’ll giddily gobble a restuarant slice, we’ve since become more apt to devour a savory-sweet homemade cheesecake.
Our family’s current favorite= dutch apple pie cheesecake. This is my own rendition of T.C.F.’s dutch apple caramel streusel.We carted this dutch apple pie cheesecake to lunch with Husband’s cousins and grandmother recently. I was a little nervous about their reaction when the cake was unveiled—with a modest “quality control” slice missing. The seemed to hardly notice as the flavors of the cake mesmerized us all..Only baby Summer Elizabeth was unable to fully enjoy the taste treat, but I’m sure that as soon as we introduce solid foods, she’ll be reaching for a plate! (Sorry Summer, but you won’t be downing sweets for some time.)
Let’s talk upgrades: This cheesecake itself is superb, but if you really want to knock some socks off, complement the dessert with a scoop of dulce de leche ice cream! It never hurts to add caramel sauce atop the streusel when serving to drooling dinner guests either. Enjoy!
Dutch Apple Pie Cheesecake
- 1 1/2 c. graham cracker or vanilla wafer cookie crumbs
- 6 T. butter, melted
- 2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1 T. flour
- 2 t. vanilla
- 2 apples, sliced to your gusto
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 4 T. butter
- 1 T. cinnamon
- tiniest pinch of salt
- ½ cups flour
- ½ c. brown sugar
- 3 T. butter
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cookie crust: Melt butter and stir in cookies. Press along the bottom and up the sides of a greased or parchment-lined 8-inch springform pan. (9″will also do.)
- Apple filling: Slice apples and place all apple filling ingredients in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until apples are softened. Cool.
- Streusel: Melt butter and add remaining flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon to the bowl. Set aside.
- Cheesecake filling: Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat 1 minute on medium speed. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl once or twice to ensure proper mixing. Pour in vanilla and add flour. Beat one minute, scraping bowl once.
- Pour half of the cheesecake filling into crust. Top with apple mixture. Add remaining cheesecake filling. Sprinkle the top with crumbles of streusel.
- Place a rimmed baking sheet under the springform pan and place in the oven on a mid-level rack. Bake 30 minutes. The edges should look firm, but the center still a little wobbly. This is perfection.
- Turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake inside for 10 more minutes. After 10 minutes, prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon for 20 minutes or so, and then open the oven door for an hour or more to allow the cheesecake to cool gradually. This cooling process helps prevent cracks in the cake without the splishy splashy mess of baking in a water bath. Refrigerate 6 hours before serving.
* Tip: Keep in mind that cheesecakes freeze extremely well. If you need to transfer the cake to a serving platter, it is easiest to transfer when frozen. A frozen cake travels much better in the car too!