More Great Recipes: Cheesecake

Junior's Apple Crumb Cheesecake

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Why I Love This Recipe

Ingredients You'll Need

Sponge Cake Layer: (see note)
1/2 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
3 extra large eggs, separated
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs. sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 drops pure lemon extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature
1-2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Apple Layer:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 pounds tart-sweet apples (Macintosh or Rome)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Brown Sugar Topping:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1/3 cup sifted confectioners' sugar


Sponge Cake Layer: Preheat the oven to 350ºF and generously butter a 9-inch springform pan. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Beat the egg yolks together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes. Then, with the mixer still running, gradually add the 1/2 cup of sugar and continue beating until thin light-yellow ribbons form in the bowl, about 5 minutes more. Beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts.

Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it in by hand until no more white flecks appear. Then blend in the butter.

In a clean bowl, using clean dry beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together on high until frothy. Gradually add the remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites should stand up in stiff peaks, but not be dry.)

Stir about 1/3 cup of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites (don't worry if a few white specks remain.)

Gently spoon the batter into the pan. Bake the cake just until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, only about 10 minutes. (watch carefully) Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack while you continue making the cheesecake filling. Do not remove the cake from the springform pan.

Pure Cream Cheesecake: Place 1 - 8 once package of cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, then beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese.

Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1-1/2 cups of the sugar, then beat in the vanilla and heavy cream. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter only until completely blended. Be careful not to over-mix the batter. Refrigerate while making apples.

Apple Layer: Toss both of the sugar, the flour, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Peel, core, and slice the apples 1/4 inch thick into a large bowl (you will need 4 cups of apples). Drizzle the apples with the lemon juice and toss them gently with your hands to mix well. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the apples and toss again until all of the apple slices are well coated. Spread about two-thirds of this apple mixture over the baked sponge cake layer. Set the remaining apples aside.

Gently spread the cheesecake filling over the apples in the pan. Using your fingers, place one of the remaining spiced apple slices strain down in the batter about 2 inches from the edge, pushing it down until almost but not completely covered by the batter. Continue placing about 20 more slices into the batter in a circular pattern.

Bake the cake in a water bath until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1-1/4 hours. When the top sets and starts to brown, after about 50 minutes of baking, lay a piece of foil over the top of the cake for the rest of the baking.

While the cake bakes, make the brown-sugar crumb topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Work the butter and shortening into this flour mixture with your fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs about the size of small peas. Stir in the lemon extract.

Cool the cake on a wire rack for 30 minutes and chill until cold, about 4 hours. Top the cake with the crumb mixture and dust it completely with the confectioners' sugar. Cover the cake loosely with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Note: One suggestion: keep an eye on this cake while it bakes. There's not much batter, so it needs only about 10 minutes of baking -- only enough time for the cake to turn light golden and set on the top.

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