Apple Calvados Cheese Cake
5 medium crispy green apples
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of apple butter
1 cube of butter
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 cup of Calvados
5 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 cup of water
1 1/2 cups of sifted flour + 2 tablespoons for your cutting board
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of Calvados (or apple brandy)
1 1/2 cubes of butter, room temperature and sliced
2 egg yolks
4 packages of cream cheese (8 oz. packages)
1 cup of ricotta cheese
3/4 cups of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
4 tablespoons of Calvados
4 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of corn starch
4 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup + 1/8 cup of heavy whipping cream
Dash of salt
I know this all looks time consuming and a lot of work and it is, to be honest. But it is simple to do and oh so good. We want to start with the apples first. Core and peel the apples, then slice them about a quarter inch thick. Melt the butter in a large 10 inch frying pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the apples, turning them occasionally. Add the sugar (brown and granulated) and stir. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes. Now add the Calvados and sprinkle the nutmeg. Stir and begin to drizzle some of the water in. The apples should now be well on their way to softening (you may test them to see the progress). Continue to cook for another 5 minutes and then add the apple butter, stir gently. Reduce heat to low, continue cooking for about 5 more minutes. Taste for doneness and flavor. If you need to, go ahead and add another tablespoon of sugar. Add the remaining water, if you haven't already.
Make sure that your flour and sugar (basically the dry ingredients) is well sifted. Pour the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl or your food processor and blend ingredients completely. While blending (or processing), begin to add the butter one slice at a time until all butter and dry ingredients have been well blended. Now add the egg yolks one at a time and finish off by adding all the liquid ingredients. In your food processor, you should begin to see a ball forming. Once everything is well incorporated, remove and form into a nice ball, place in a bowl, cover with a wet paper towel and refridgerate for 45 minutes. You have completed preparing the crust. We will now start on the filling.
Take the cream cheese one cup (8 oz.) at a time and blend it in your food processor. Once all cream cheese has been well beaten or processed, it should be creamy like a creamy frosting. Now add the Ricotta and process until it is well mixed with the cream cheese. Now add the dry ingredients and blend it with the cream cheese thoroughly (you don't want lumps). Next, add the eggs one at a time and continue blending. Add the cream, vanilla extract, and Calvados and finsih blending well. Set the mixture aside. You have now completed the filling preparation. You see, it's not that difficult.
About 10 minutes before the crust dough is to come out of the fridge, preheat the oven to 400. While preheating, take a 10 to 12 inch wide by 3 inch deep spring form pan and spray it with cooking spray so that nothing will stick on the surface. Remove the bottom because that is what you will use first. Take the crust dough out of the fridge and take 1/3 of the ball and put the rest back in the fridge.
If you have parchment paper or wax paper, cut two sheets about 14 inches long and sprinkle a bit of the extra flour on the bottom sheet. Set the dough on the bottom sheet and cover it with the second sheet of parchment paper. Pat it down a bit with your hand and then use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 10 to 12 inch diameter. Carefully remove the top sheet and place the bottom of the spring form pan over the dough. Taking the bottom sheet of parchment with one hand and the spring form bottom with the other hand, turn the dough over so it rests on the spring form bottom. Carefully remove the parchment paper and cut away any excess dough. Place the spring form bottom with the dough in the middle rack of your oven and bake for 12 minutes or until dough has a light golden brown color. Remove and allow to cool before you connect the spring form botto to the ring. At this time, increase oven temp to 450.
Take the remaing dough out of the fridge and proceed to roll it out as you did before, this time roll it out into a 6 inch width by a length equal to 1/2 the circumference of the ring. Cut the dough with a sharp knife lengthwise to make two 3 inch wide strips. Carefully, and I mean CAREFULLY, take each strip and line the sides of the spring form pan. If it breaks, don't sweat it, you can patch it up. It will all come out fine in the wash. Make sure the dough goes right up to the top edge of the pan. With your fingers, seal the bottom seam with the bottom of the pan. You may now, if you wish, do as I did and make little diagonal cuts at the top to create little wedges (like a crown).
Carefully pour the filling in the pan. It should fill the pan to within 1/3 from the top approximately. Remember, when cooked, the filling will rise a bit, so keep that in mind. Set the pan in the middle rack of your oven, shut the door and reduce temperature to 400, bake for 12 to 14 minutes and then reduce heat to 250 and bake another 60 minutes. Your cheese cake should have a nice beige color. After 60 minutes, shut oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door shut for another 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for an hour at room temperature.
Not only are you going to impress your guests, but you're going to LOVE this cheese cake. Just the aroma tells me that. I made mine this afternoon and I can 't take a bite until tomorrow evening, but I know what I know. This is a keeper! Happy Thanksgiving !!