Apple-Pecan Cheesecake

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Above:  No, I did NOT use apples made of wood!
Apples!– besides enjoying apple-laden goodies,
 when I see ripe apples, I think of:
  • The Shawano County Fair, because that’s when the early apples in our orchard were ready for picking.
  • My mother cooking large kettles of applesauce and apple butter on the wood stove (later, on her modern and very welcomed electric range).  I still remember (and can smell?) how s-w-e-e-t the house smelled at times like that.   Today, it is EXACTLY 105 years since my mother was born in Montague County, TX– she  left us with great memories on March 13th of 1982.
  • The ‘too many’ wasps/hornets sitting on windfall apples, especially on the apples  with soft or rotten spots– they were either trying to zap some sweetness from them, or get DRUNK!?  (SMART hornets/wasps don’t fly drunk!–but, I don’t suppose it’s possible to have a ‘designated flyer’!)  As a child, I was SO afraid of those yellow/black winged things!

 

Above:  These are named Snow Apples and are at their best AFTER a few frosts.  The tree, itself, is older than I am– and, I’m 68!  Its trunk is almost totally hollow by now.  A few years ago, already, the opening at the base of the trunk was large enough for THREE young raccoons to hide in.
Because it’s ‘apple season’, I wanted to make an apple-pecan cheesecake– I chose this particular recipe from the Kraft Foods website.  (I LIKE it because it’s very apple’y’ and, yes, cheesecake’y’, too!)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (for me, this was one full sleeve).
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted.
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed.
  • 4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened.
  • 1 and 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, divided into 1 cup and then 1/2 cup usages.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  • 1 cup sour cream.
  • 4 eggs.
  • 3 Granny Smith apples (or another firm type of apple), peeled, chopped.
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
DIRECTIONS:
  • Heat panggangan to 325° F.
  • Line 9×13-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over each of the sides.
  • Mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar; press onto bottom of prepared pan.
  • Beat cream cheese, only 1 cup brown sugar and the vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended.  (I did all of this with my food processor.)
  • Add sour cream; mix well.
  • Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended.
  • Pour beat/blended cream cheese mixture over crust.
  • Combine remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, chopped apples, nuts and cinnamon– mix well.
  • Sprinkle this apple/nuts mixture evenly over the cream cheese batter.
  • Bake for 60 minutes or until center is ‘almost’ set.  (Some who’ve tried this recipe said they needed to add up to 10 minutes of baking time, or so.  Watch for how yours is baking, and decide accordingly.)  When I took mine from the panggangan today, it looked like this:
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  • Use foil handles (tabs) to lift cheesecake from pan and move to cutting board before cutting to serve.
  •  For future servings, this dessert freezes well in airtight containers.
ENJOY!

Source Recipe: http://milkmaidrecipebox.blogspot.com

Best Restaurants in America If you eat out in the U.S.A. and want the best dining experiences possible, this guide is for you What makes a good restaurant a “best”? Food that’s better than just good, of course. A dining room and a level of service that suit the quality of what’s on the plate. A good wine list (which doesn’t always mean an encyclopedic one), good beers and/or cocktails where appropriate. And then the less easily quantifiable stuff: personality, imagination (or intelligent commitment to a lack of same), consistency. 101 Best Restaurants in America (Gallery) When we were a young website, way back in 2011, we drew up our first 101 ranking ourselves, making a list of the places where we, The Daily Meal’s editors, liked to eat. Taking into consideration our mood, our budget, and where we happened to be when we get hungry, how would we vote, we asked ourselves — not only with our critical faculties but with our mouths and our wallets? Where would we send friends? Where would we want to dine if we had one night in this city or that? By this method, we ended up with a shortlist of 150 places. Then we argued, advocated, and cajoled each other on behalf of restaurants ranging from old-fashioned to avant-garde, ultra-casual to super-fancy. Finally, we invited an illustrious panel of judges (restaurant critics, food and lifestyle writers, and bloggers) from across America to help order restaurants via an anonymous survey and tallied results to assemble a ranked list. Upstairs, the simple Scandinavian-style dining room is kitted out with tables that look like tangled tree trunks, carved by Tom senior. The ingredient-led 12-course tasting menu is constantly changing (you might spot one of the chefs picking a final herb flourish outside minutes before it hits your plate). Starters could include a mouthful of smoked eel and apple, or an exploding dumpling of ox cheek and lovage. A crapaudine beetroot slow-cooked in beef fat is meaty in texture as well as flavour, and local lamb is paired with turnip and mint. Even the bread with sour butter is sensational. Afterwards you’ll be grateful for the walk through the village to a pretty rose-covered house where some of the nine bedrooms have antique oak four-posters and copper bateau baths. Wake to the sound of cows mooing in the next field and head back to the inn for a simple breakfast of sheep’s yogurt with fresh berry compote and house granola or toasted brioche heaped with mushrooms and a duck egg. Unsurprisingly, the most talked about restaurant in Yorkshire is often full, so book it quick. By Tabitha Joyce.

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