A cheesecake for fall (that isn’t pumpkin!): this wonderfully creamy cheesecake is made with reduced fresh apple cider which gives it a tangy, tart and most autumn-like apple flavor.
Apple Cider Everything
Last autumn I came up with a killer recipe for an apple cider caramel ice cream. Oh my god that stuff is good. I made it 4-5 more times after that because I was either serving it with apple pie on thanksgiving, handing tubs out as christmas gifts, or just making it because we wanted some. When cider appeared at our local markets this year, I bought some planning to make it again.
But then I did something else. I boiled down my cider and decided I wanted to venture the flavors into a cheesecake (a la this pistachio number). And oh, I am so glad I did.
Easy Creamy Apple Cider Cheesecake
This recipe has a lot in common with my pistachio butter cheesecake – it’s tall, it’s SO CREAMY and yet somehow remains light (the sour cream helps). The tang from the cream cheese is complimented by the sweet tartness of apple cider. I only added cinnamon to mine but I can imagine adding other types of mulling spices (cloves, allspice, etc) would be lovely too. I followed the methodology for my basic cheesecake recipe which does away with a water bath (which I find too tedious) and instead puts the pan of water in the oven to create more steam. We’ll cool it it very, very slowly to prevent it from sinking in the middle and retain that perfect texture. It’s quick to prepare (all in a food processor) but has a long bake, and an even longer cooling time in the fridge – and it is oh so worth the wait! Move over pumpkin – apple cider is the new fall favorite cheesecake!
Notes on making Apple Cider Cheesecake
Some of the photos show the cheesecake very tall, baked in a 6″ springform. While grand, I don’t recommend this as the filling is too much for such a small pan and will cause the cake to sink.
If you are using a springform pan, wrap it really well so no water seeps in when it goes into the water-bath. A more sure-way to avoid that is to use a tall cake pan (3″ high). You can prep it like I show how to in this video.
You can boil down your cider a day or more ahead of time and store it in the fridge.
For a caramelized white chocolate ganache to serve with the cheesecake, see how to make caramelized white chocolate here. To turn it into a ganache, melt 1/2 cup of the chocolate if it has hardened and add 1/8 cup of heavy cream.
3cream cheese bricks227g each, softened and at room temperature
2teaspoonspure vanilla extract
1/3cupreduced apple cider
Boil the cider with the mulling spices on high in a large pot for about 1 hour, until it has reduced to a thick syrup and you have about 1/3 cup. Set aside and allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Make the crust in your food processor: pulse the cookies until finely ground, add the butter, salt and sugar and pulse until it all comes together in wet crumbs.
Press the crumbs into an 8” round springform pan wrapped with foil or into a cake pan greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool then chill.
Lower oven temperature to 325 F.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until the mixture is completely lump free. This can take a few minutes and you will likely need to scrape down a few times.
Add the sour cream, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and reduced cider and pulse again repeatedly scraping down and beating until you have a very creamy mixture.
Add the eggs, and beat until just combined – no more.
Place the cheesecake pan in a 13×9” pan filled with hot water.
Pour your filling into the crust and bake for 90 or more minutes, until you can shake it and the edges look set but the middle is still wobbly.
Shut off the oven but leave the cheesecake in. Use a wooden spoon to crack open the oven door. Let the cheesecake cool inside for about 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes, close the oven door and allow the cheesecake to cool for another 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on the counter, once cool place in fridge for 8 hours before serving.