Saturday, November 29, 2014

Winter Jack Cider Cheesecake

Hooray for Thanksgiving! Time for a new Cheesecake recipe! I had really wanted to use Apple Brandy for there was not a bottle to be found in my small town. I was thinking maybe spiced rum....but then I came across Jack Daniels Winter Jack Tennessee Cider. I thought it would be worth a shot !

2 cups QUALITY apple cider.....cannot stress that enough, QUALITY!
1 stick cinnamon
2 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp whole cloves

2 1/4 cups ginger snap crumbs (1/2 this recipe is perfect!)
1/4 cup butter

2 medium sized apples, peeled and sliced thin*
*I also dunk them in lemon water to prevent browning, but make sure they are dry before using

24 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup Jack Daniel's Winter Jack Tennessee Cider
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TB cornstarch
4 eggs

Boiling water (for water bath)

1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 TB sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of ground cloves
dash of ground allspice

For the cider:
Place the cider along with the spices in a small pan, simmer over medium heat until it has reduced to 1 cup (about 20-30 minutes, check often).

Strain out the spices and discard, set aside the cider to cool.

For the crust:
Preheat oven to 350 at this point

Take 2 sheets of heavy duty foil and lay them out in a cross, set a 10 inch spring-form pan in the center and bring the edges up to cover the outside of the pan.

Reserve 1/4 cup ginger snap crumbs for topping.
Combine remaining 2 cups ginger snap crumbs and butter, mix well then press into the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides.
Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes.

Immediately take your sliced apples and carefully line the edge of the pan pressing them firmly into the edge of the crust. When you have completed the ring make sure to carefully pack the crust tightly against the edges again. (It will be hot so take precautions!)

For the filling:

In a food processor or with electric mixer beat the cream cheese until it is nice and fluffy...about a minute or so.

Add in Winter Jack,sugars and cornstarch. Mix well until no lumps remain, scraping down sides as necessary.

Then add in the cooled reduced cider you made earlier. Beat well to combine.

Add eggs 1 at a time and incorporate fully before moving to the next BUT be careful not to over beat at this point. Seriously, beat it all you want before the eggs but after eggs, just until incorporated!!

When the eggs are fully combined, GENTLY pour into the prepared crust.

Place the pan into a wide rimmed pan (I use my broiler pan) and add boiling water up to the middle of the spring-form.

Place in the center of the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes until the edges are starting to look a little dry but the center is jiggly.

Combine topping ingredients and gently spread over the cake, sprinkle with  reserved ginger snap crumbs.

Bake 5 minutes more.

Turn off heat and allow to cool for 1 hour without opening the oven door.

After 1 hour take out of oven, remove the foil and cool completely on a wire rack.

After it is completely cool chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before removing ring. Then enjoy!

Just an FYI Winter Jack was ok but it did not impress me as much as I had hoped.  I definitely think a spiced rum or apple brandy would be fantastic!!

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