The Monday Treat – cinnamon pecan vanilla cheesecake with a hot toffee apple sauce

It was my birthday this weekend, and I celebrated with duck and pancakes with a side order of good friends down in Chinatown followed by champagne and cheesecake at home.

Recipe illustration for cheesecakeNow don’t get me wrong, I love cake cake, and I’m happy to eat it whenever the occasion arises, but when I get to call the shots, cheesecake is my celebratory mouthful of choice.

This no bake version of cheesecake is pretty easy to put together – especially if you have a mixer – more assembly than cooking really. It’s not exactly the cheesecake of my childhood – I remember ones at Methodist Church parties with mandarin orange toppings and dense digestive bases – and it’s not exactly the cheesecake that I go out to eat in New York – baked, vanilla, Katz if I’m choosing, Carnegie Deli if Jon’s choosing – but, poised somewhere between: like me,  I suppose.

For the Cheesecake

1 cup of crushed graham crackers
¼ cup of chopped toasted pecans
¾ stick of very soft butter
1 and ½ packs of cream cheese (each pack is 8oz)
3/4 pint of heavy cream (whipping cream)
2 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup of confectioner’s (icing) sugar

For the toffee apple sauce

Apple illustration for cinnamon pecan cheesecake recipe2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
3 tbsp butter
4 tbsp sugar
½ cup of cream

  • Crush the graham crackers with the pecans and mix with the soft butter and 2 tbsp of sugar
  • Press into the base of an 8 inch spring form tin, going a little bit up the sides to make a good nest for the filling
  • Whip the cream to soft peaks and set aside
  • Mix the cream cheese, ½ tsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 cup of icing sugar and the seeds from a whole vanilla pod (or you could use 1tsp of good quality extract) until soft
  • Stir the cream into the cream cheese mixture
  • Pour onto the crumb base and put in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight


  • Fry the apples in 1 tbsp of the butter and 1tbsp of the sugar until they are soft and starting to caramelize (about 5 mins)
  • Add the rest of the butter and the sugar and cook until the caramel is deep brown (another 5 mins)
  • Pour in the cream
  • The caramel with seize up, but don’t worry, keep stirring and it will melt again forming a thick sauce
  • This sauce is best served warm – you can make it in advance and re-heat it, but you might have to add a bit more cream to thin it out.

If you can make that you can make this:

  • Top with handfuls of fresh raspberries and a dusting of confectioners sugar
  • Heat up a packet of frozen berries with a couple of tablespoons of sugar (pick out the strawberries – they are disgusting) then pour this hot compote over the cheesecake.
  • Top with fresh mixed berries – whatever’s in season. Redcurrants look particularly beautiful.
  • Top with a high quality fruit preserve. I just saw Nigella Lawson on the telly do one with a cherry preserve – it looked delicious. I made a chocolate version with cherry preserve and grated white and dark chocolate over the top (a black forest direction).
  • Replace half the crackers with ginger nut biscuits and add half a teaspoon of cinnamon to the cheesecake batter.
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