The very best creamy vanilla cheesecake gets topped with a simple compote of apples, spices and maple syrup.
Originally published October 2012.
Without thinking about it, whenever Autumn arrives, I kind of automatically begin making apple desserts. This maple apple cheesecake, in particular is a real winner.
You’ll find quite a few apple desserts on this site, from a terrific apple pie to a sour cream apple flan. It’s no surprise that when we decided to invite a few friends over for dinner a couple of nights ago that an apple dessert was on the cards.
It was a real hearty home cooked Fall season meal of prime rib and roasted potatoes and vegetables that we served. A apple harvest dessert seemed a good idea to round out the meal.
With some maple syrup on hand to sweeten the tart apples, the final result of the topping paired with the creamy vanilla cheesecake was absolutely heavenly.
A few tips on baking the perfect cheesecake.
In my opinion, baking the perfect cheesecake requires the use of a bain marie during baking.
A bain marie is simply a water bath that buffers the direct heat from the sides and bottom of the baking pan to more evenly bake the cheesecake from the sides to the center.
I bake my cheesecakes in a 9 inch spring form pan that has the bottom and sides wrapped in multiple layers of wide heavy duty aluminum foil which forms a sort of boat that the cheesecake pan sits in.
The roll of aluminum foil that I use is about 16 inches wide. I use at least 4 layers of foil to make sure that no water leaks in and ruins the crust of my cheesecake. The aluminum foil wrapped pan is then placed inside a larger baking pan; I use a 12 inch cake pan.
Boiling water is then poured into the larger pan filling it from ½ to ⅔ of the way to the top.
I find it best to pour the boiling water into the pan after it is placed on the rack in the oven as you are less likely to splash water onto the cheesecake or inside the aluminum foil.
I reuse the aluminum foil for several future cheesecakes, adding a couple of layers to it each time just to be safe.
EVEN IF YOU CHOOSE NOT USE A BAIN MARIE still use the aluminum foil wrap around the cheesecake pan. The aluminum foil still offers a good buffer to the heat. High heat and baking too quickly is the main reason that a cheesecake becomes dense and not creamy.
Want even more cheesecake ideas? Be sure to check out this collection of Rock Recipes Most Popular Cheesecake related recipes.
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Maple Apple Cheesecake - the very best creamy vanilla cheesecake gets topped with a simple compote of apples, spices and maple syrup.
For the cookie crumb crust
- 1⅓ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tbsp sugar
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- For the cheesecake batter
- 3 eight ounce packages ounces cream cheese, 3 cups
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3 tsp vanilla extract, or, even better, the seeds from one large vanilla pod
- 1 cup whipping cream
For the Maple Apple Topping
- 6 - 8 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/ 2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
To prepare the cookie crumb crust
- In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter.
- Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased or parchment lined 9 inch spring form pan. (Grease bottom only!) Parchment paper is ideal here because it makes it very easy to release the cheesecake from the bottom of the pan.
To prepare the cheesecake batter
- Cream together the cream cheese and sugar for 2 to 3 minutes until well combined.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat in the vanilla extract (or vanilla pod seeds. If using a vanilla pod, scrape all the seeds out and stir them very well into the whipping cream in the next step. This will help to break up the sticky vanilla pod paste and make sure the tint black seeds are evenly distributed throughout the cheesecake.)
- Finally blend in the whipping cream well until the batter is very smooth. Using a rubber bowl scraper/spatula, scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl as well as the electric beaters/paddle and give the batter a final beating for 1 minute on a higher speed. This final step ensures that there are no lumps in the batter and introduces a little air into the cheesecake to make it lighter.
- Pour over the prepared base and bake in a bain marie at 300 degrees F for 60-70 minutes. (Oven temperatures will vary slightly. Mine takes the full 70 minutes and you can go to 75 if you feel you need to.)
- Don't be an compulsive oven door opener! Don't open it at all in the first hour.
- The cheesecake does not have to brown at all in order to be fully baked; the surface of the cheesecake should lose any shine when the cake is properly baked. It can still be slightly wobbly just at the center at this point.
To prepare the Maple Apple Topping
- Sauté the apples and butter together in a large non, stick pan, until the apples are fully hot and just begin to soften.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool almost to room temperature. The apples will release some of their juice as they cool.
- When cooled down, drain the apples in a colander or sieve, reserving the juice. Add the juice to a small saucepan along with the maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Simmer slowly over low heat until the volume reduces by about half. Watch it carefully, any sugar syrup can foam up and overflow while cooking or it can burn very quickly if left on too long.
- When it looks syrupy, take it off the heat. Add the apples to the syrup and simmer for another couple of minutes before allowing it to cool and serving on top of the cheesecake slices when serving.
Serving Size1 slice
Amount Per Serving Calories 497Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 110mgSodium 236mgCarbohydrates 60gFiber 2gSugar 50gProtein 5g
The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.