Caramelised apple cheesecake

A caramalised apple cheesecake served with a boozy sauce inspired by the Hairy Bikers travels in Scotland.

Caramelised apple cheesecake presented on a plate with whisky sauce in a jug next to it.

Caramelised apple cheesecake


6 - 8 people
Prep time
less than 30 minutes
Cooking time
10 to 30 mins


For the base

  • 175g/6oz digestive biscuits
  • 50g/1¾oz dried apples, finely chopped
  • 50g/1¾oz pecan nuts, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter

For the cream cheese filling

  • 200g/7oz ricotta, at room temperature
  • 300g/10½oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 50g/1¾oz icing sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 50g/1¾oz soured cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the caramelised apples

  • 3 small apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 200g/7oz caster sugar
  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 25ml/1fl oz calvados, brandy or whisky
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream


  1. To make the base, put the biscuits in a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb. Add the apples and pecans and process again until they are broken into small pieces and well combined with the biscuits. Stir in the cinnamon.

  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the biscuit mixture to the melted butter and mix thoroughly.

  3. Line a deep 20cm/8in round cake tin (a loose-bottomed springform tin is best) with baking paper. Press the biscuit base into the base of the tin and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

  4. To make the cheesecake filling, put the ricotta and cream cheese in a bowl and beat well using a whisk until combined and thickened.

  5. Beat in the cinnamon and sugar, along with a pinch of salt. Finally add the soured cream and vanilla extract and beat briefly to combine.

  6. Spoon the filling into the cake tin and smooth the top using a palette knife. Transfer to the fridge and leave to chill.

  7. To make the topping, put the apples in a bowl and toss in the lemon juice, followed by the spices. Set aside.

  8. Put the sugar in a wide-based pan. Add 50ml/2fl oz water so it has a consistency of wet sand, then leave on a medium-high heat until it caramelises. Don’t be tempted to stir it with a spoon – just move the pan around to swirl the caramel around and avoid a particular patch from burning if you find it is cooking unevenly.

  9. Drain the apples and add to the pan in a single layer. Leave to cook on a low-medium heat for a few minutes on each side. You will find the sauce continues to darken and reduce around them. When they are knife tender (you don’t want them to collapse), remove from the pan and arrange on a lined baking tray.

  10. Add the butter to the caramelised sugar. It will bubble furiously when it is added – just wait for it to subside and then whisk it into the sugar. Add a generous pinch of salt.

  11. Add the brandy or calvados to the caramel and let it bubble for a minute or two. Add the cream. There is a chance the sauce might seize at this point, but keep stirring or whisking – it will soon turn into a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  12. Carefully remove the cheesecake from its tin (the topping has quite a soft set so it helps to run a knife around the edge first). Arrange the apples on top in a spiral. Serve in slices drizzled with the caramel sauce.