J. Noto Bakery Chef Kendele Noto's Caramel Apple Cheesecake

"I’ve taken my vanilla cheesecake recipe and added two main flavors to it ‒ caramel and apple ‒ along with a few other ingredients to enhance them," says J. Noto Bakery chef Kendele Noto.

J. Noto Bakery Chef Kendele Noto's Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Yield | one 9-inch round cheesecake |

Crust

  • vegetable shortening, for greasing
  • 1½ cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup melted unsalted butter

Cheesecake

  • 32 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced

Topping

  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

| Preparation – Crust | Grease a 9-inch springform pan with shortening. Mix remaining ingredients together and press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate crust.

| Preparation – Cheesecake | Preheat oven to 350ºF. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, cornstarch, cinnamon and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed until combined. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, mixing on low speed and incorporating each egg slowly. Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla extract and apple. Pour the mixture over the refrigerated crust and level the top with a spatula. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 275ºF and bake for 1½ hours or until cake is set. Remove from oven and cool inside the pan for 30 minutes.

| Preparation – Topping | Add all ingredients to a saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until apples are tender. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Pour mixture on top of cheesecake. Refrigerate cheesecake for at least 1 hour. Remove from pan and serve.

KENDELE'S NOTES: Cheesecakes are hard to master. Starting with a solid recipe that has the correct ratios of ingredients can be a major help. But it’s not just following the recipe; technique is also very important. The entire baking process, from when it goes into the oven to when it hits the plate, makes a big difference in the outcome. Make sure to read through the recipe first and mind your measurements, temperatures and times, and this recipe will give you a great end result.

I’ve taken my vanilla cheesecake recipe and added two main flavors to it ‒ caramel and apple ‒ along with a few other ingredients to enhance them. When creating recipes, I like to incorporate ingredients that complement each other.

You can create your own variation by substituting pears for the apples or playing with the size of the cake. If you’re hosting a dinner party, try portioning the recipe into individual ceramic ramekins. The cheesecake will take no time to bake (just until the cheese is set), plus you can serve it in the same ceramic ramekins you baked it in.

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