Warning: I am pretty darn proud of how these turned out, so I am going to shamelessly photo-bomb this post with pictures of the cheesecake. You have been warned. You will either need to deal with it or stop reading it right now :)
All right, now that is out of the way.
|I warned you....Lots of pictures :)|
|Love love love my King Arthur Flour hamburger bun pan. Nothing sticks and it cooks beautifully and can be used for so so so many things!|
|Close up of the parchment tabs and cooked cheesecake.|
This is what they looked like after they were baked. I stuck them in the fridge after they cooled on the counter for a while, and when I tried to pull one out this morning, I just lifted by the parchment paper pieces and it came right out.
|When life hands you extra cheesecake batter....for goodness sake don't waste it! Make more crust and bake it in something!|
It ended up making so much filling that I quickly made a second batch of crust, did the same thing with a 9" round cake pan (once again, not a spring form, so I used parchment strips, just a lot more of them), and ended up dumping the rest of the batter in to this. It was exactly the perfect amount. As you can tell, this makes a ton, but it will depend on what you decide to bake it in.
I know cheesecake can be intimidating, but I promise, it is fairly forgiving, specially if you are not concerned with a little cracking on top, which will not affect flavor in any way. Give it a try, it is worth it. I will give some notes on different pan ideas at the end of the recipe, and a few different baking options depending on the pan you use.
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Personal Apple Pie Cheesecakes with Caramel Sauce
(This recipe will make 12 personal size ones done in a hamburger bun pan that has 1 1/2" deep wells that are 4" across)*
- 4 cups ground graham crackers (about 1 box)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
- 3 Tbs granulated sugar
- 2 (8 oz.) blocks neufchatel cheese (light cream cheese), softened
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups fat free plain greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 can apple pie filling
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup 2% evaporated milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lay two parchment strips across each other in each well of the pan to form an X.
- Spoon the crumbs into the pan wells and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and up the sides (the paper may curl in on it, but once you get the crumbs pressed in, it should hold the paper open more).
- Bake in oven for 6 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.
- Place about a tablespoon of apple pie filling in the bottom of each well, on top of the baked crust, and spread to cover the bottom.
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the neufchatel cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes (the higher speed you beat it on, the lighter the cheesecake will be, so if you want a dense cake, beat on low speed for the minimum amount of time needed to fully incorporate ingredients)
- Add greek yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Mix well. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not over beaten. Pour the filling into the apple pie filling covered, crust-lined pan wells, most of the way full.
- Place in oven. Bake for about 30 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle in the center just a bit (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Remove from oven. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours. Remove from pan by lifting the cheesecake out by the parchment strips slowly and gently.
- Place sugar and water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil heating on high.
- Boil on high until the sugar dissolves and eventually turns a deep amber color, swirling occasionally to distribute the color, but do not stir. About 10-12 minutes
- Once desired color is attained, remove from heat and CAREFULLY add the evaporated milk. It will boil violently, release hot steam, and sputter, so be carefully and add slowly. Stir constantly until all the milk is added and it has stopped boiling and is well incorporated. Add vanilla and mix.
- Let cool in pan. Once it is cool enough to handle, spoon over refrigerated cheesecake as desired.
- Store remaining in fridge in air tight container for up to a week. Reheat in microwave to make it pourable.
|Rarely, if ever, have I had pictures come out of my food that I like. I like.|
- If you don't have a deep welled hamburger bun pan, similar sized ramikins can be used. Use the same parchment paper technique for easy removal. Regular sized muffin pans can be used too, it will probably make about 24 of them. Two 9" cake pans (about 2-3" deep) can also be used. When filling up anything for cheesecakes, it will rise so do not fill all the way to the top.
- The 9" cake pan baked for about 45-50 minutes, if you decide to go that route.
- If you have a spring form pan, by all means, use it. You can cut the crust recipe in half if you have a 9 or 10" spring form pan and just want to make one large cheesecake.
- I know the best way to bake a cheesecake is to do it in a water bath, but I did not have a pan that would fit my hamburger bun pan in so I opted to do the method of baking at a slightly lower temperature. The personal sized cheesecakes had no cracking problems on top what so ever. The large one started cracking on the top around the edges slightly by the end, but after it cooled, they sealed up and you can't tell. We are smothering it with caramel sauce, so what difference does it make anyways? The cheesecake came out wonderfully creamy, so if you don't have a pan for a water bath, don't worry. I am trying to make this as user friendly as possible.
- If your dissolved sugar mixture is really grainy by the time it starts to get some color, add 1/2 cup of water to it and stir to dissolve the sugar, return to a boil and continue with the recipe. You can also add a bit of corn syrup to help also.
- If you have never made a cheesecake, they look a bit undercooked when they are done, a bit wiggle still in the center. It is ok. It will set up in the fridge the rest of the way. Just make sure it wiggles like jello, and not like a bucket of water being shaken (too loose).
- This cheesecake is much lower in fat and calories than regular cheesecake so it will be creamier band lighter. Less guilt on going back for seconds I say!
|Last one, I promise.|
Enjoy, and let me know if you make it how you like it!