Baked Apricot Cheesecake

Baked cheesecakes are one of Cam’s favourite things in the world, but something I bake incredibly infrequently. I’d never had cheesecake at all before I met him, and certainly not baked cheesecake. For some reason I always assumed I’d hate it, but the more I have it the more I fall in love with them. It really is the best of the cheesecake world: there’s that gorgeous flavour, but the baking of it brings a lightness to the texture that makes it far too easy to eat a giant slice of it.

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The only hard part is choosing a flavour! I was baking this for his dad’s birthday so I asked cam to choose one. He narrowed it down to about 5, so I then turned to his mum for back up. Eventually we settled on apricot cheesecake.

 

All good cheesecakes begin with an incredible crust. I wanted a bit of a honey type flavour in the crust, so I chose butternut snap biscuits. To that I added some cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and processed it to make the base.

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For the filling I used dried apricots, which I rehydrated in an orange sugar syrup. Using dried instead of fresh eliminates all the excess water in the fruit which would impact on the baking process.

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You don’t have to worry about processing the apricots into a perfectly smooth puree, as the little chunks will add some texture to your cheesecake.

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Once they’re mixed up into the cheesecake mixture it’s time to add it to your base and bake.

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When it’s almost done baking you’ll remove it from the oven and pour over a sour cream mixture. Then it goes back into the oven for a little longer.

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It will need to cool to room temperature, then in the fridge overnight ideally.

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I sprinkled some nutmeg and cinnamon over the top using a stencil to get a bit of a vague pattern happening.

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The cheesecake delivered everything that is amazing about the humble baked cheesecake, with a twist in a flavour we’d never tried before. I think perhaps the best compliment was when his mum and dad said they were so full from the celebratory dinner that they would have to share a piece: his mum started on her half and “accidentally” polished the whole lot off. His dad had no qualms about having to deal with another slice solo.

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If you like a little boozy hit in your cakes (we don’t) feel free to substitute the orange juice for an orange or otherwise fruity liqueur.

Baked Apricot Cheesecake
Ingredients
Biscuit Base

250g (8.8oz) plain sweet biscuits

1/2 tbsp nutmeg

1/2 tbsp ginger

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1tbsp brown sugar

125g (4.4oz) butter, melted

Filling

200g (6.5oz) dried apricots

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp irange juice

275g (9.7oz) cream cheese

1/3 cup (80g/2.3oz) caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 free range eggs

1/2 cup (125ml/4.2fl oz)  thickened cream

Topping

300ml (10.6oz) sour cream

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp orange juice

 

Method
Biscuit Base

  1. Line a 20cm springform tin with baking paper.
  2. Place all the ingredients except the butter in a food processor and process into crumbs.
  3. Gradually add in the melted butter until the biscuit crumbs adhere when pressed down on (you may not need to use all the butter).
  4. Spread a third of the crumbs on the base of the tin and press firmly to make the base. Pour the rest of the crumbs evenly around the outside of the tin and press to firm the sides (a straight-sided glass works well for this).
  5. Refrigerate until firm.

Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced/350°F).
  2. Rehydrate apricots by combining them in a small pan with brown sugar, orange juice and 2 tablespoons of water; cook over low heat until liquid is absorbed and apricots are plump. Process until smooth
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl cream the caster sugar and cream cheese until smooth, light and fluffy.
  4. Gently beat in the apricot puree, then the eggs one at a time until just combined.
  5. Pour filling into the base, then bake for 35 minutes.
  6. Make the topping by combining ingredients in a bowl and whisking to combine.
  7. Remove cheesecake from the over, spread topping over still hot cheesecake and immediately return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool in the oven with the oven door ajar for 30 minutes to an hour, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Remove cheesecake from the tin, then refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  10. Before serving, dust with nutmeg and/or cinnamon.

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3 thoughts on “Baked Apricot Cheesecake

  1. I have never heard of butternut snap biscuits. I’m assuming that they’re similar to a gingersnap, but if you have a recipe for them, I’d love to see it. As for the orange juice or liquor; Since I’m allergic to oranges, I’d probably replace it with a peach brandy.

  2. If my boyfriend doesn’t like sour cream, can something else be used instead for the topping?
    Perhaps cream cheese softened or cool whip?

  3. No matter how many times I see your posts of cheesecakes, I still can’t get enough. This was definitely one of my favourite baked cheesecakes I’ve had the pleasure to devour.

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