In a student house with questionable heating, Durham’s chilly autumn is best spent wrapped warmly under a duvet, while eating a delicious dessert.
Instead of mixing households, why not mix it up in the kitchen? With the help of my housemates, I experimented with Bon Appétit’s cheesecake recipe to make it autumnal. If you’re looking to fill a cheesecake-shaped void in your soul, this apple pecan cheesecake can certainly help.
Adapted from Bon Appétit’s Best Cheesecake
- 150g biscuits (I used a combination of digestive biscuits and Lotus biscuits)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 50g unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled
Cheesecake and Assembly
- 400g cream cheese, room temperature
- 60g granulated sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup sour cream, room temperature
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- Brown sugar (30g)
- White Sugar (30g)
- Butter (30g)
- Heavy cream or creme fraiche, 2 tablespoons
- 2-3 apples, chopped finely or sliced (for decoration)
- Lotus biscuit (garnish)
- An 8 inch springform pan
- Parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 180ºC.
- In a blender, or in a plastic bag, crush biscuits until fine crumbs form.
- Combine biscuit crumbs with sugar and salt.
- Slowly add butter to the mixture. Depending on the consistency of the biscuits, you may need more or less butter. Start by adding half of the butter, then add more if needed.
- Line pan with parchment paper. Once done, press the biscuit mixture onto the base of the pan. Use a glass to help flatten the mixture and create an even texture.
- Bake crust for 10 minutes until golden brown and fragrant.
- Preheat oven to 160ºC.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until smooth.
- Fold in sour cream using a spatula.
- Add eggs and whisk to combine.
- Once the mixture is ready, pour it over the crust. Optional: smooth mixture with a chopstick or spoon for a more even surface.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes: when the cheesecake is done, the edges are set but the centre is wobbly.
- Cool cheesecake at room temperature, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Cheesecake is best after chilling for 8 hours/overnight, but still delicious after 2 hours.
Salted Caramel Sauce:
- In a saucepan over medium heat, stir granulated sugar and brown sugar until they melt into a thick, golden brown liquid.
- Add butter after sugar has melted, and stir until combined.
- Add chopped apples to the caramel; stir constantly to avoid burning.
- Drizzle in heavy cream or creme fraiche, and allow the mixture to come to a boil.
- Remove caramel from the heat and stir in sea salt. Let cool until it reaches the desired temperature.
Assembly: Slice apple into desired shapes. Drizzle caramel sauce on top of cheesecake and garnish with Lotus biscuit and chopped pecans.
Photograph: Constance Lam