Here's recipe number two of my #AppleCakesSeries: a delicious maple caramel apple cheesecake with a touch of cinnamon.
An easy dessert with a lightened up filling (made with ricotta and greek yogurt) but a rich topping.
It's like eating Autumn 🍁 at every bite!
Caramel apple cheesecake: an healthy cheesecake recipe...
I developed this recipe 3 years ago, can you believe it? And I've never posted it anywhere except on a private Facebook group. Shame on me!
When I decided to post an apple cheesecake for the #AppleCakesSeries, I immediately remembered I had this in the archives, though.
The crust is a classic combination of Digestive (similar to Graham crackers) and melted butter. I wanted to test almond butter instead, but I didn't have enough of it.
The filling is super simple: Greek yogurt, fresh creamy ricotta, eggs, a bit of sugar and vanilla extract. Plus, this time, I added apples and maple syrup, for a Fall-ish variation.
So, if you stop and analyse the ingredients, they're not bad at all. Greek yogurt and ricotta are better - IMO - than cream cheese. There's just ⅓ cup of brown sugar in it, plus the one into the cookies and the apple chunks.
Let's consider it a lightened up cheesecake base (you can also change toppings).
...with an indulgent topping
But then I added an indulgent topping to this healthy-ish cheesecake eheh maple caramel, cinnamon and apples, so delicious!
It's Fall, after all, and we need some comfort food, am I right?
If you want to keep it lighter though, you can totally skip the salted maple caramel. But maybe put more apples into the filling to balance the flavours! Then let me know.
It is said that the best apples for baking are Granny Smith, because they hold up under heat and their flavour balances the sweetness of pies/cakes.
I suggest also trying Golden Delicious!
P.S. I'm not that picky, I bake with whatever I can find at the market/supermarket. But when I develop recipes for my community, I want them to be at their best.
In case you want to know more about apple varieties, read this.
Tips for the perfect cheesecake
I've made a lot of cheesecakes in these 28 years of life. But most of them were non-baked.
When I re-made this recipe, and then "converted" to a caramel apple cheesecake, I knew it needed some adjustments. And to give you tips on how to make the perfect cheesecake, I consulted my friend Sam's (@frostingandfettuccine) post (THIS).
What I've learned is that:
- room temperature ingredients are key in order to get a creamy consistency (I knew that, but maybe you don't);
- water bath is essential to get a smooth top without cracks, but there's an easy way to do it: instead of submerging the springform pan into a pan with hot water, just place the cheesecake on the middle rack, then put a separate deep tray on the bottom rack of the oven (and pour the boiling water in it). This way you won't spill water all around you;
- let it cool down into the oven: 1 hour is enough, remove it and let cool at room temperature and lastly in the fridge.
- about the baking time: every oven is different, my cheesecake was ready after 1 hour and 25 minutes, yours could be ready before. Check it after 1 hour: Sam says it's done "when the outer edges are set but there is still a little jiggle in the middle".
Does this caramel apple cheesecake look too difficult? It's not!
When I wrote the recipe card below I realised how long the process was (in terms of words). But I promise, it's just long to read, not to make 😀
After all, you only have to cook your apples into a pan, prepare the crust and the filling, then the caramel. Then it's all about cooking time (which yes, it's long).
When I have to prepare this cheesecake, I make sure I'm organised:
- I first prepare the crust, then let cool down a bit (confession: I never have the patience to completely let it cool. When I pour the filling it's usually warm);
- Then I prepare the caramel and I cook the apple chunks;
- Lastly the filling (which is really quick to make).
Make sure to have all your ingredients on the countertop before starting.
That's all, friend!
If you make this recipe, please be sure to give it a rating and leave a comment! It would make me so happy! 🙂
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Don’t forget to pin and share this easy and delicious recipe!
MAPLE CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE
- Springform pan
- Stand mixer
- Deep roast pan
- 1 + ¾ cup (approximately) Digestive or Graham crackers crumbs - 250 gr
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon Melted butter - 125 gr
- 2 tablespoons Brown sugar (optional)
- Cinnamon powder
- a pinch Salt
- 2 cups Chopped apple (approximately 1 apple) - (I've used Granny Smith)
- 2 tablespoons Brown sugar
- 2 + ⅓ cups Greek yogurt (at room temperature) - 500 gr
- 1 + ⅓ cup Ricotta (at room temperature) - 260 gr
- 3 Eggs (at room temperature)
- ⅓ cup Brown sugar - 65 gr
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Maple syrup (optional)
- 1 Apple (I've used Granny Smith)
- 1 tablespoon Brown sugar
- a bit Water
- Cinnamon powder
- ½ cup Maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- ⅛ cup Heavy cream
- a pinch Salt
- Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C).
- Spray an 8 inch springform pan with nonstick spray then line with parchment paper, both on the bottom and the sides.
- Into a bowl, stir together digestive/graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and, optional, brown sugar.Mix until it looks like wet sands.
- Put the mixture into your pan, then press down into the bottom and the sides (use a glass if you find it difficult)
- Bake the crust for 13/15 minutes. Then let it cool down a bit.
- First, bring a pot of water to a boil. We'll need this for the water bath. Place a deep roast pan into the oven.
- Into a pan, put your chopped apple and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar: cook until the apple is slightly soft (time depends on the size of your chunks)
- Into the bowl of a stand mixer, combine ricotta and greek yogurt and mix for about 30 seconds.
- Add the eggs, the sugar, vanilla and maple syrup and mix again until incorporated. Lastly, add your cooked apple.NOTE: if your batter has some clumps, sieve it.
- Pour the mixture on the crust.
- Place it into the oven, and remember to pour the boiling water into a deep roast dish (place the dish on the bottom rack, and the cheesecake in the middle one) for the steam.
- Bake at 350°F (175° C) for about 1 hour and 25 minutes. IMPORTANT: check after 1 hour, and if the center of your cheesecake looks wobbly keep cooking. If it jiggles, it's done.
- Let cool down into the oven (slightly open), for 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool down on the countertop, then in the fridge. Remember to remove from the springform pan too.
- Prepare the salted maple caramel (recipe by theviewfromgreatisland.com): in a pan, heat your maple syrup until it reaches 225°F (105°C). Remove from heat, add the butter and stir until it melts.
- Add cream and salt and mix (careful, it's very hot). Let it cool down, it will thicken.
- Chop an apple in small pieces and cook it in a pan with a drop of water, a sprinkle of cinnamon powder, and a tablespoon of brown sugar. You want the chunks to become softer but not lose their shape.
- When your cheesecake is cooled, top with caramel and apples.
© Healthy Little Cravings – Roberta Dall’Alba.
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