Cranberry & Apple Topped Cheesecake

The Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup sugar

The Cheesecake:

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla

4 eight ounce packages of cream cheese (total of 32 ounces)

4 eggs

12 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled

The Topping:

12 ounces of fresh (or frozen) cranberries

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 medium sized, sweet apples, chopped into small pieces (approximately 2 cups)

Step #1 - Preheat the over to 325* F.

Step #2 - Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter in a bowl. Stir until all ingredients are well incorporated. Mixture will be crumbly and loose, but holds together when pressed into a ball with your hand. If the mixture is not holding together, add additional butter.

Step #3 - Press the graham mixture into the base and sides of a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan. Crust should reach 2 - 3 inches up the side of the pan. Set aside when completed.

Step #4 - Melt white chocolate using a double boiler or in the microwave and set aside. You want the chocolate to cool, but not become firm or harden.

Step #5 - Using a mixer, beat together the sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese until smooth. Add in white chocolate and continue mixing

Step #6 - While mixing, add in the eggs, one at a time.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl between eggs to make sure the mixture is combining evenly.

 

Step #7 - Pour the cream cheese mixture into the graham cracker crust.  Smooth out the top with a spatula.

 

Step #8 - Bake for 45-55 minutes until firm.  Ideally, you never let the top of a cheesecake brown or crack, but I almost always let it turn a little golden and occasionally crack. Since I always put topping on my cheesecake, no one is ever the wiser. If you are going to serve it plain, you will want to be conscious of not allowing this to happen.

 

Step #9 - Allow the cake to come to room temperature and then refrigerate for a minimum of four hours before adding topping and serving.  Store leftover cake in the refrigerator.

The Topping:

To make the topping, simply put all the ingredients together in a sauce pan and bring them to a boil.  Boil for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture starts to thicken. Cool the mixture and then refrigerate it until time to serve the cake.  Add the topping just before serving.  Store leftover topping in the refrigerator. If you have a lot leftover, it is also good on ice-cream or yogurt.