cheesecake bliss

Ever since I’ve gone gluten-free I rarely bake anymore. It just doesn’t seem to be worth the effort, especially since I’m the only one in my family that avoids the sticky little proteins (although there are others who show signs of needing to, but I won’t go there in this post). Anyway, I hosted book club last week and wanted to make something I could actually enjoy along with my friends so I adapted a cheesecake recipe to make it gluten-free. It was soooo good you’d never know the crust was wheat-free and even people who aren’t big cheesecake fans loved it! It’s almost a cross between cheesecake and apple crisp because of the crust and the crumble top so this is the perfect time of year to make it and impress your friends and family. And since this was my first time ever making cheesecake it must be a fail safe recipe! Click on “keep reading” to get the recipe:)

2 cups crushed vanilla wafer cookies (I used gluten-free)

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup white sugar

3 eggs

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I used gluten-free)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 apples-peeled, cored & sliced thinly (I used Galas which hold their shape, some people like Macintosh because they get softer)

1/3 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). In large bowl stir together cookie crumbs, pecans, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and cube then cut in one stick of butter until mixture is crumbly. Press about 3/4 of the mixture into the bottom of a springform pan and bake for ten minutes. Remove to cooling rack and put a cake pan of water on oven rack below center rack and let it heat up while you prepare batter. This will help bake the cheesecake better (I don’t know why, it’s a cheesecake baker trick!)

In a large bowl combine cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix at medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla, pour into baked crust.

In small bowl stir together 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Peel and slice 4 apples very thin, about 1/8 inch, and then cut in half (smaller apple pieces make the cheesecake easier to slice). Put apples pieces in microwave safe dish and microwave on high for about two minutes, stir and let sit a few minutes. Pour off water that comes out of warmed apples. This extra step helps keep the cheesecake from getting runny from the apple juices. Mix apples with sugar and cinnamon and pour off juice once more if necessary before spreading on top of cheesecake batter. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top.

Bake in preheated oven above water pan for 65-75 minutes. Some people turn off oven and open it and let cake sit awhile in the oven to cool, I didn’t because I had let it go longer than planned (oops!) so I removed it and placed it on a cooling rack. Loosen sides after it cools a bit with a knife. Let cool completely then remove rim and chill throughly before serving.

Mr. bookbabie pronounced it the best cheesecake he ever had, and he knows his cheesecake, enjoy!

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