Like a fall version of a New York cheesecake! Slightly tart apple cider syrup gives this creamy cheesecake its signiture flavor. The speculoos cookie base paired with a homemade apple cider caramel sauce bring this cake to perfection!
Made with homemade boiled Apple cider and Apple cider caramel sauce!
How to make cheesecake crackfree?
Pre-bake the cookie crust on a slightly higher temperature then the cheesecake and let it com to room temperature before adding the cheesecake batter. These steps ensure a stable base for the cheesecake to bake in.
Use a Baine-marie to bake the cheesecake. A water bath helps baking the cheesecake with gentle heat and enough humidity to prevent cracking.
Another important step is to keep the oven door shut. Once the cake finished baking it needs to cool gently. Just turn off the oven and let it cool for at least 1 hour inside the oven. I recommend to let it cool for about 1.5 hours. Then transfer it to the kitchen counter and let it set for another 30 minutes before cooling it in the fridge for another 2 hours or overnight.
Before putting the cake into the fridge I recommend to use a knife or another tool to loose the sides of the cheesecake from the mold. When cooling sometimes the cake shrinks a bit which can cause cracks if the sides are not loosened from the mold.
To easy remove the baking pan I recommend using a mold with releasable bottom like a springform pan. Either way if you do not make cheesecake on a regular basis you can use a cake pan and line the mold completely with baking paper on the bottom, the sides and to lift the cake: one stripe underneath the bottom layer reaching up on both sides, like tray handles. Trust me on this!
Apple Cider Cheesecake
for the cookie crust
2 1/2 cups (250 g) speculoos cookies
1/4 cup (57 g) butter, melted
for the filling
24 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tbsp boiled apple cider (see notes)
1/2 cup (100 g) brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) sour cream
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
for the apple cider caramel sauce
1/2 cup (125 ml) boiled apple cider (see notes)
3/4 cup (150 g) brown sugar
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Start off with making the crust in your food processor or ziplock bag. Add the cookies and pulse until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture looks like wet sand.
Press the mixture in the prepared baking pan. I used a high 6 inch pan with releasable botton but you can also use an 8 inch springform pan. Bake the cookie layer for about 10 minutes. Then let it cool to room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 °F.
For the filling combine cream cheese, flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix it with a hand held mixer until creamy. This step is important for a smooth cheesecake. It can take up to 4 minutes until the mixture is lump free. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix in the eggs. Scrape down the sides again and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until you get a smooth consistency.
Fill the mixture in the baking pan and cover the pan in 3 layer of aluminum foil to ensure no water can enter the pan. Place the baking pan inside of a bigger baking pan and fill the outer pan with water up to 1/2 inch height. Bake for 1 hour and without opening the oven door turn off the oven and let the cake set for another 1.5 hours. Then let the cake come to room temperature for 20 minutes and place it in the fridge for another 2 hours or better overnight.
While the cake is in the oven make the apple cider caramel sauce. If you haven't prepared boiled apple cider, it is enough time to make it now! Just check the note section for instructions. For the caramel sauce use a medium sized pot and add all the ingredients. Mix it while heating it on medium-high heat. Roughly about 10 minutes after boiling the caramel sauce has reached its perfect consistency. It will look very runny still because it is hot (caution!). One trick to check if the consistency is to pour a small amount of the caramel sauce on a plate and let it set in the fridge for 2 minutes. It should have a toffee like consistency and not be runny anymore. Remove the caramel sauce from the heat and pour it in a glass measuring cup to cool. Pour it over the cheesecake when it is warm to touch or at room temperature.
Take the cheesecake out of the cake pan after cooling in the fridge and drizzle homemade apple cider caramel sauce on top. Serve cold!
How to get boiled apple cider?
Cook 4 cups of apple cider in a heavy bottom pan without lid for about 1 hour at medium heat until about 1 cup of liquid remains. Keep in fridge.
How long does it keep fresh?
Covered in the fridge the cheesecake can last up to 1 week.