Ricotta Cheesecake w/ Caramelized Apples
1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs (20 cookies)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and each cut into 8 slices
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/4 cup apple cider
Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
In a bowl, mix crumbs, butter, and sugar. Press into bottom of prepared pan.
Bake 10 minutes. Place pan on wire rack.
Filling: In a food processor, process ricotta cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla bean until ricotta is smooth. Add cream cheese and sour cream; process just until smooth.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk in 1/4 of the cheese mixture. Fold in the remaining cheese mixture in two additions. Pour over the crust.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until the edges rise, and the center is just set, but still jiggly. Place on wire rack to cool completely (cheesecake may crack).
Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
In a large skillet, combine sugar, water, and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat, swirling the skillet occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and then caramelizes and turns amber in color.
Remove the skillet from the heat and immediately add the apples and butter. Stir to coat the apples with the caramel. Cook, turning apples occasionally until the apples are tender but still hold their shape, 5 to 10 minutes.
Once the apples are tender, remove them to a buttered plate. Stir the cider into the caramel and cook until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the caramel into a bowl and let cool.
To serve the cheesecake, remove the pan and, with a large spatula, transfer cake to a serving plate. Arrange the apples on top. Spoon the caramel over the apples and serve.
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