Thursday, October 15, 2009

Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake

The Kitchen Gnome and I have belonged to a Gourmet Group since the girls were babies. My friend and I discovered that babies meant that we never got to go out anymore! No more dates. Instead, it was the grocery store and the doctor office! My friend and I decided that if we joined a gourmet group we were sure to go out at least once a month. So, here we are past the group's silver anniversary and still cooking and meeting regularly, well, almost regularly. Now there are grandchildren and travel for some lucky members.

And what does this have to do with pearls? Well, it was a Julia evening! The soup and the main course were from Julia's cookbooks. There were pearls that night also, but it was all about the wonderful food!

For an appetizer we had tasty meatballs from California Wine Lover's Cookbook by Malcolm Hebert: Wine Institute and Wine Appreciation Guild. They hit the spot with the lovely red wine that was served.

Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce

The broccoli soup was from Julia's cookbook, The Way to Cook. It was smooth and flavorful and perfect on a cool fall evening.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Our Seared Romaine Spears with Caesar Dressing salad was outstanding! It was in the June 2008 edition of Food and Wine. To use my oldest daughter's terminology...this goes on the rotation! It was so delicious I could have been content with salad and soup!

Seared Romaine Spears with Caesar Dressing
The main course was Coq Au Vin from Julia's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It was delicious. I know it took a long time to prepare and it was well worth the time and effort.

Coq Au Vin with Risotto

And now for dessert!

This time when the group met I had the pleasure of taking dessert! I prepared an Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake. And while it was cooling, the smell in the house was wonderful. It wasn't difficult, just time consuming.

There was one minor problem...since I started the cheesecake at noon and hadn't read anything but the list of ingredients prior to beginning to prepare the dish, I learned that it was supposed to be refrigerated overnight and then the topping was to be added! I had no choice but to dive in and hope it worked without letting it sit overnight!

No problem....this was wonderful even with skipping the overnight step! You do need lead time when making this recipe. I learned that one is really supposed to read everything before doing anything! The recipe came from the Taste of Home Magazine Fall Baking issue.



Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake

Serves 12

Crust
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Filling
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup thawed apple juice concentrate
3 eggs, slightly beaten

Topping
2 medium tart apples, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup thawed apple juice concentrate

In a small bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour, oats, walnuts and cinnamon until well blended. Press into the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides of a greased 9 inch springform pan.

Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy, beat in milk and juice concentrate until smooth, add eggs, beat on low speed just until combined (batter will be thin). Pour into crust.

Return pan to baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

In a large skillet, cook and stir apples in butter over medium heat until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Arrange over cheesecake.

In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch, cinnamon and juice concentrate until smooth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Immediately brush over apples. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled. Remove sides of pan. Garnish plates with Caramel Sauce.

Caramel Cream Sauce

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup half and half
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and cornstarch. Stir in cream, water and corn syrup until smooth. Bring to boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.

Stir in butter and vanilla until butter is melted. Drizzle caramel sauce on plate as a garnish when serving Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


Ironically, I was to make and take cheesecake and I am not a cheesecake fan. It is the one dessert that I can pass up. This cheesecake, though, was delicious. I had seconds!

I am participating in Foodie Friday hosted at Designs by Gollum. Stop by and take a look at all of the fantastic dishes being prepared today.

19 comments:

  1. at the risk of sounding like a simpleton, YUM!

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  2. What a fantastic dinner!!!! You did Julia proud:)

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  3. I do love cheesecake, and this one sounds and looks delicious...
    I am copying and pasting!
    Thanks, Kate..
    It is wonderful your gourmet group still meets! I have a group like that, but they don't like the cooking so much!

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  4. Wow what a feast! Everything looks soo tasty!
    Thanks for sharing

    marti @ forkingit.blogspot.com

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  5. I am envious--all my cooking/eating groups have disbanded. Everyone stays so busy. You guys are my cooking/eating group now :) Your menu sounds fabulous. I collect cheese cake recipes and will add this one--it's not like any I already have--thanks!

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  6. I am drooling! This sounds and looks so good! I have been craving apples:) Fall always does that to me! I want Apples and Pumpkin everything :) Thanks for sharing!
    Karyn

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  7. What a wonderful evening of good food and good company! Your contribution looks awesome! :)

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  8. I wish we lived closer. I'd be knocking on your door with a bottle of wine. Everything looked fabulous. Would you believe I've never had coq au vin? SIGH.

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  9. This I have to try! I love American Cheesecakes!

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  10. Beautiful cheesecake! JaneF posted a recipe for one recently on our blog. Looks delicious. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. The cheesecake looks and sounds mouthwatering. I'll have to figure out an occasion when it can be my dessert highlight. The seared romaine also looks delicious and I'm on my way to have a look at that as well. Have a wonderful week.

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  12. Now that you've tempted me, I'm going to have to give that cheesecake a try!

    :)
    ButterYum

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  13. Wowsa...that looks terrific! Love the whole post...the get togethers and the wonderul menu planning...I want to join! Grin.

    Will have to try this cheesecake. All your recipes have been super so far...I know this one will be tooo!

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  14. What a GREAT!!! cheesecake using apples. Looks and sounds YUMMY!!!
    I have become a follower of your blog, come by and visit my blog and maybe do the same.
    Geri

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  15. Your cheesecake is gorgeous!

    Blessings!
    Gail

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  16. What a fun club! That cheesecake looks divine.

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  17. WOW! Everything looks wonderful. That Cheesecake is calling my name. Great pictures:)

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  18. What a perfect dinner! Everything looks so devine!

    I too am at that stage with kids, so that means that I don't go out as often as I would like to. Joining a Gourmet group sounds like a great plan.

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  19. i only have eyes for that cheesecake! this is the type of spread where you'd need to hide the dessert from me lest i skip the real meal and just devour apple-cinnamon goodness. :)

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