Monday, November 17, 2008

Apple Butter Cheesecake

Aside from baklava, cheesecake is my absolute, number one favorite dessert of all time (see previous posts, re: my love of all things cream cheese-related), and when I found this recipe in my massive binder it sounded too delicious not to try. A co-worker sent this recipe to me through e-mail two years ago (literally! the date on the e-mail is April 2006!), and I must have just printed it off and stuffed it in my notebook, where it got lost among the zillions of other recipes I've printed out.

This was my first time making a cheesecake in a water bath. For some reason, water baths always intimidated me, and I avoided making cheesecakes that called for using them -- but in reality they're very simple to construct. You just line your springform pan with foil, put the pan in a roaster, and surround it with hot water halfway up the sides. I was so pleased with the results. The cheesecake stayed so creamy and soft; the texture was absolutely perfect, and I credit the water bath for that.

Apple butter and cheesecake -- who knew they'd be such a perfect marriage? But oh, they are. This cheesecake was phenomenal, and the gingersnap crust was delicious. I would recommend using more gingersnaps than the recipe calls for, though, because when I added in the melted butter it made the mixture too wet -- which made the crust stick to the pan when I sliced the cheesecake. But no one who tried this really cared; they were too busy raving over the wonderful flavor and texture of this dessert. I'm making this again for Thanksgiving; it's a very seasonal (and delicious!) alternative to the pumpkin cheesecake I usually make.

Apple Butter Cheesecake
Source: 1001 Recipes to Send

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed ginger snaps (I would use at least 2 cups)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

For the filling:
2 pounds cream cheese
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
5 medium eggs
1 1/2 cups apple butter (recommended: Musselman's)
3/4 cup butter, melted

1. In a small bowl, combine crushed ginger snaps, sugar, and melted butter. Blend well. Press the crust with a spoon into a 10-inch springform pan. Make sure to cover the bottom and the sides evenly. Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, and then let it cool.

2. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and dry ingredients until smooth. Add sour cream to the mixture. Beat in the eggs. Add apple butter and butter, and beat until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared ginger snap crust.

3. Bake at 350 degrees in a water bath for about 2 hours.

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