October 26, 2011

Apple Butter Cheesecake

for the crust:
1 1/2 cups of gingersnap crumbs*
6 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled slightly

for the cheesecake:
4 eggs, at room temperature
32 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
16 oz labne, at room temperature
1 cup apple butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 250.

For the crust-
Mix the crumbs and the butter until damp. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Set aside.

For the cheesecake-
In a large bowl, slowly cream together the apple butter, sugar, cream cheese and vanilla. Add the eggs and labne, mix thoroughly. Pour into pan. Allow to sit 2 minutes, then tap the pan on the counter to encourage any air bubbles to come to the surface and burst. Bake 2 1/2 hours or until the surface is mostly set- the middle inch or so might still look even less set, almost jiggly. Remove to the counter and run a knife or thin spatula around the edge of the pan. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate 3-5 hours before serving. Refrigerate leftovers, promptly..

*I used this recipe and added 1/2 teaspoon of allspice and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.

My thoughts:
I made this using apple butter we bought at the Apple Butter Festival in Berkeley Springs, WV this year. At the festival they cook the apple butter in large pots over a wood fire. It is so smooth and has a slight smoky flavor. Of course, home canned or store bought would work just as well. Anyway! This apple flavor was strong in the cheesecake and it had just the right hint of spice. I will note it takes a while to set up, so resist the urge to cut into it too quickly!