February 18, 2011

Dutch Apple Pie Cheesecake

The cheesecake.

It is one of my favorite desserts to make and it's kind of funny that it took me so long to post one on this blog.

All of my cheesecake flavors are based from one base recipe that I originally got from an old friend, Dante, and have modified and improved it over the years.

This recipe is a Dutch Apple Pie Cheesecake. It is basically a mash-up of apple pie and a New York style cheesecake. The bottom layer is traditional apple pie filling covered with the cheesecake filling and topped with a streusel.

I brought this cheesecake to a tailgate at the 2010 Big Game and got some good reviews. Anyways, on to the recipe after the jump.


For those of you who have not made cheesecakes before, they are not hard. They are actually quite easy but they make a great impact for any potluck or gift because of their perceived difficulty. The real challenge is how to bake it properly as almost any filling works and tastes wonderful.

This cheesecake recipe is split into several parts: crust, apple filling, cheesecake filling, streusel and finally, baking. Make sure you make this at least a day before you plan on serving and plan out about six hours to make the darn thing. Most of that is bake time.


The crust is pretty easy and straightforward. You want two cups of graham cracker crumbs, one stick of butter and a couple teaspoons of cinnamon. You can go about getting your crumbs for the crust in several ways: buying pre-made crumbs or making your own from graham crackers. I prefer both. I use mostly pre-made crumbs that you can buy as they are of a nice fine texture and perfect for crusts, but I like mixing in a few whole crackers for some added texture. There really is no need for exact measurements, you just want to fill the bottom of the pan when you are finished.

After the crust is combined, melt some butter in the microwave and pour it into dry mixture so that it clumps and forms a nice concrete like consistency. Pour into the bottom of a spring-form pan and using your fists, compact it down into a nice even layer. Set aside until you are ready with the fillings.

Apple Pie Filling

This is a standard apple pie filling, you can use mine or your favorite. 

I started with seven fresh apples, a mix of Granny Smith and Fuji. I am not a huge fan of all granny smith apples because of the tart, so Ashley picked me up a good mix of sweet Fuji apples. I left the skin on and sliced up all the apples into fairly thin slices. Because these will cook with the cheesecake filling and the temperature will not be too high, I wanted them to reach a nice tenderness during baking. Squeeze the juice of one lemon onto the apples to prevent oxidation and browning.

Prepare the rest of the apple filling by mixing the brown sugar, flour, and nutmeg together and mix in with the apples. Once it is ready, you can pour the filling into the prepared spring-form pan on top of the crust. This should fill the pan up about half-way. Set aside while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake Filling

As I mentioned above, cheesecakes are easy and you can almost put anything into the filling without ruining them. The filling I used for this was just a classic New York style to pair with the tart of the apples. 

Make sure all the ingredients are room temperature before beginning. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and lemon zest together in a stand-up mixer. Mix until fluffy. You cannot over mix this, in fact, mix more than you think you should. Until you add the eggs, you cannot over mix a cheesecake. Once you are satisfied, add in the eggs and mix in slowly. Over mixing at this point will add air into the batter and cause cracks and bubbles during baking. Fold in the milk by hand until just combined.

Pour on top of the apples.


This is super easy to make. Mix the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Take some room temperature butter and fold it into the cinnamon mixture. The paste that forms can then be added to the top of the cheesecake filling. I used the Jackson Pollock method to apply the streusel.


Up until now, a cheesecake has been easy right? As long as you didn't over mix earlier you should be fine. The baking bit is what makes a good cheesecake good.

Heat up the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. During this time, put an oven proof dish with water in the oven. This will create a humid environment during baking and help prevent cracking.

Plop the cheesecake in and let bake at this temperature for about 25 minutes. After the 25 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees. Let the cake bake at this temperature for about an hour. Finally, turn off the oven and let sit for two to three hours. This process will prevent cracks from forming and give a smooth and creamy texture to the cheesecake.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let sit for another 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate over night before serving.


Dutch Apple Pie Cheesecake


2 cups graham cracker crumbs, finely crushed
1 stick butter, unsalted
2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
7 apples, mix of Granny Smith and Fuji
1 lemon, juiced

24 ounces cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbs flour
1 lemon, zested
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, unsalted

  1. Prepare the crust first. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and cinnamon until well-mixed. Pack into the bottom of a spring-form pan and set aside.
  2. Prep the apple filling. Mix together the brown sugar, flour, and nutmeg together in a small bowl and set aside. Cut the apples into small slices. You can either take off the skin or not, it's your choice. Combine the apples with the juice of 1 lemon and then mix with the brown sugar mixture. Pour into the spring-form pan.
  3. Before you prepare the cheesecake filling, make sure the ingredients are at room temperature. Combine the cheese, sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla in a stand-up mixer. Mix until fluffy. You cannot over mix at this point. Mix the eggs in by hand until just combined. If you over mix at this point, you will get bubbles and breaks in the cheesecake after baking. Fold in the milk until combined. Pour the filling into the pan on top of the apples.
  4. In another bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together. Fold in the butter until you get a good paste and spread evenly over the cheesecake.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. During this time, place a oven safe cup of water in the oven, this helps prevent cracking. Bake the cheesecake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees. At 25 minutes, lower the temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another hour. Turn off the oven and let the cake sit in the oven for 2-3 hours. Afterwards you can remove from the oven and let fully cool. At this point, loosen the spring-form so the edge of the cake does not stick to the pan. Let sit overnight in the fridge before serving.

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