I love all types of cheesecakes, including non-baked ones. But even more-so the baked ones, I especially relish the thick, yummy, stick-in-your-mouth variety. For a delicious change, here’s an equally tasty, slightly lighter, slightly airier option. It’s still definitely a baked cheesecake – I promise.
Makes: 12 – 15 slices
Time: Topping: 10 – 12 minutes; base: 10 – 12 minutes. Cheesecake: 40 – 45 minutes preparation, 70 – 75 minutes baking, then cooling time.
Level: Not the simplest of bakes, but nothing massively difficult.
Equipment: A 23cm (9”) spring form tin + a pair of “Bake even” bands or similar (see below):
Credits: Adapted from a “Baking Mad” recipe found in Baking Heaven magazine.
Ingredients for the crumble topping
- 110g (3.75oz) plain white flour
- 110g (3.75oz) soft light brown sugar or golden caster
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 50g (2oz) oats
- pinch of salt
- 60g (2.25oz) butter
- 50g (2oz) demerara sugar (An optional extra for even more sweet crunchiness)
- 1 tsp milk
Ingredients for the base
- 250g (9oz) biscuits (digestives, shortbread or similar. Graham crackers in U.S.)
- 100g (3.5oz) butter
- 50g (2oz) golden syrup
Ingredients for the filling
- 500g (17oz) mascarpone cheese
- 500g (17oz) full fat cream cheese (For an even lighter cheesecake, replace half with 250g Ricotta)
- 120g (4oz) caster sugar
- 2 tbsp Vanilla extract
- 150ml (5fl oz) sour cream
- 4 medium eggs, separated
- 1 or 2 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced (N.B. Unless you use them immediately you’ll need to sprinkle them with lemon juice to avoid them going brown.)
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
1. If, like me, you want to get the topping made and out of the way, maybe the night before, then here’s what you do. Put the flour, sugar, cinnamon, oats and salt in a large bowl and rub in the butter until you achieve a breadcrumb consistency. Here’s when you can mix in the demerara if you decide to use it. Then stir in the milk. Set this aside or put in the fridge overnight. (You’ll need to bring it out to warm up to room temperature before using it.)
2. The base can also be made ahead. You’ll need to prep. the tin, but there’s a decision to be made first. The choice is whether or not you’ll bake the cheesecake in a water bath. I tend not to, as I once had a messy leakage, probably because the foil I used to wrap the tin was too narrow to fully enclose it. If you’re happy with this method, go for it. I prefer to insulate my tin well instead. First, I butter the inside then I line the interior sides and bottom with baking parchment. When the cheesecake goes in the oven I use two dampened “Bake even” bands around the outside of the tin. It took me a while to believe they work, but I’m now convinced that they do a good job.
3. Crush the biscuits finely either in a bag, bashed with a rolling pin, or whizz in a food processor. (I have a Kenwood mini-food processor which is a terrific piece of kit.) Melt the butter and golden syrup in a saucepan. Mix all these together, fully coating the biscuits, then spread into the prepared tin and press down well. Leave in the fridge until needed.
4. OK – sorry it’s a bit of a long-winded recipe, but now for the filling. Yes, the actual cheesecake. First, turn the oven on to 180C/ Fan 160C/ 350F/ Gas 4 and make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature.
5. Separate the eggs if you haven’t already done so. Whisk the whites in a clean bowl until they reach soft peak stage.
6. Beat together the mascarpone, cream cheese, caster sugar, vanilla extract and sour cream. Stop as soon as the mixture is smooth and creamy, to avoid overbeating. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing between each one. Then fold in the whisked egg whites. You should have a lovely creamy mixture that’s light and airy.
7. Spoon about a third of the mixture onto the biscuit base, spreading it evenly, then add a layer of sliced apples and sprinkle with nutmeg. Spoon the rest of the cheesecake mixture over the apples.
8. If you’re using the water bath method you need to wrap the tin in kitchen foil and fill a suitable vessel with water so that it reaches halfway up the tin. Otherwise, wrap the tins in wet “Bake even” bands. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes.
9. After 30 minutes, carefully open the oven door and sprinkle the topping over the cheesecake and bake for another 40 – 45 minutes. There should still be a bit of a wobble to the cheesecake when baked.
10. Turn the oven off. (Remove cheesecake from the water bath, if using, and take off the foil.) The cheesecake needs to be in the oven for a further 2 hours with the oven door slightly ajar. Finally, remove it and leave to cool completely. You could serve it immediately*, but if possible, place it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
*Don’t forget to remove the circle of parchment paper under the cake. (I still forget occasionally – maybe it’s an “age” thing) It might come off more easily after the cheesecake has set in the fridge for a while.)
N.B. In case you were wondering, this recipe is not sponsored by Wilton (the company that makes Bake Even bands).
I hope you enjoy making (and eating) this lovely cheesecake. If you want to see more cheesecake recipes click here. Two of my especial favourites are my Chocolate and Orange Cheesecake and my White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake.