Last evening, I “covered” the Cheesecake Competition at the LA County Fair (another post upcoming on that fun blogging adventure) and witnessed first-hand as the very capable home cook and happy contestant, Ann Turley scored the First Place Blue Ribbon for her Apricot Cheesecake recipe. Haven’t had a chance to make this myself, but it was a beauty in person and the judges gave it an enthusiastic Thumbs Up. Enjoy!
Apricot Cheesecake by Ann Turley, Walnut, CA
2009 LA County Fair First Place Blue Ribbon Winner, Cheesecake Category
4 Tbl. butter, melted
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbl. sugar
1/2 Tbl. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients and press into the bottom of an 8” or 9” springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- 2 Tbl. sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Combine in a small bowl and set aside.
- 6 oz. package dried apricots
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tsp. Grand Marnier (optional)
- 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
Place apricots in a small saucepan and soak in the water for two hours. Bring to a boil, then simmer, tightly covered for 20 minutes. Puree the apricots and any remaining liquid in a food processor. Add Grand Marnier, lemon juice and sugar, pulsing several times to blend. Additional sugar can be added to your taste. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
- 2 8oz. packages cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. rum
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup apricot puree (recipe above)
- 1 tsp. apricot nectar
Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until soft and well-blended. Add rum, vanilla and salt and blend again. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended. Add puree and apricot nectar. Wrap the bottom of the springform pan in foil, then pour in half the filling. Sprinkle the nut layer evenly over the surface then add the remaining filling. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes. Remove to countertop while you prepare the topping.
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 Tbl. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. rum
- 1/2 tsp. apricot nectar
Stir together until smooth. Spread over baked cheesecake and return to oven for 10 minutes. Cook completely before garnishing with additional puree.