Vegetarian Recipes to Transform Your Life by Monique Sharp

Caramel Apple Cheesecake
Image by djwtwo
I saw a photo of a very similar cheesecake on Reddit a few weeks back, and since I almost always make a cheesecake as one of my Thanksgiving desserts. I don’t remember if the other photo had a recipe associated with it, but I winged this one, since I’ve made all the components for other recipes in the past.

Took advantage of natural light coming into the dining room to shoot this, which I don’t get the opportunity to do very often with my food photography. Just light coming in from the window to the left, with a white reflector to the right of the scene to act as fill.

Nikon D7000 w/Nikkor 50mm ƒ/1.8 prime, 1/3s @ ƒ/4.8, ISO100. Color finishing in Aperture.


For the crust

6-7 graham crackers, crushed into fine crumbs
1/2 c. sugar
4 tbl. melted butter

For the cheesecake

2 lb. cream cheese, room temperature, cut into 1" cubes
1 c. sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. lemon zest
4 oz. apple butter
1 c. salted duck fat caramel
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. pecans, toasted and chopped lightly

For the "roses"

4 pink- or red-skinned apples (Fuji, Pink Lady, Red Delicious)
2 c. sugar
4 c. water
juice of 1 lemon
red food color


Brush the sides and bottom of a 10" springform pan with melted butter. Line the bottom and sides with parchment, and brush the parchment with melted butter. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter and press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until starting to brown and set. Remove from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and place a roasting pan on the middle rack.

In a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and sugar. Beat with the paddle until sugar and cream cheese are well-integrated, light, and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stopping to scrape down the mixer after each addition. Add the lemon zest, apple butter, sour cream, and 1/3 c. of the caramel, beat until combined. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and tap a few times to level.

Bring some water to a boil. Line the outside of the springform pan with a double thickness of aluminum foil, and place the springform into the roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with hot water to come about 1 1/2" up the side of the springform pan. Bake 55-60 minutes until set on the edges and the center still jiggles like jello, then turn off the oven and let sit in the oven for another hour. Remove from the oven, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.

To make the apple roses, bring the water, sugar, and lemon juice to a boil. Peel two of the apples, core all of them, then slice them 3/16" thick on a mandoline perpendicular to the core. Once sliced, cut the slices in half and add to the boiling syrup. Let sit until the apples are softened, then remove and allow to dry a bit. Alternating peeled and unpeeled slices, form roses (if you Google a bit, there are several sites and YouTube videos that will show this in better detail than I can describe here.) I set the formed roses into a mini muffin pan to dry a bit. Right before using, take 1/2 c. of the syrup and a few drops of red food color and reduce by half on the stove; brush this syrup lightly on the tops of the roses.

Remove the cooled cheesecake from the pan and place on the serving dish. Top with the remaining caramel sauce, and arrange the apple "roses" and chopped pecans on the caramel (the caramel will help hold the bottoms of the roses together.)

Serve promptly. If you’ve got some time before you’re going to serve, don’t apply the roses until you’re close to serving time, as some liquid will weep out and thin the surrounding caramel over time.

In order to make changes in your life right now, you have to be open and non-resistant to change. Transformation is a process which most people are afraid of because it requires them to live outside of their box. We go through our whole lives thinking we are living because we go to work, pay the bills, eat junk food and then expect to have excellent health.

Your body is your temple, your life source and what we put into it is clearly visible through your measure of health, well being and longevity. We all strive to live a quality life and age gracefully, so why not feed it foods that will aid us on our journey.

The first step to transforming your mind is to be open to eating healthier by preparing these transitional recipes from the e-cook book: Quick & Easy Vegetarian Recipes To Heal Your Body. These recipes will allow you to have familiar tasty healthy food, such as, Buffalo Tofu ‘Wangs’ and Marinated Collards. You will not only enjoy every recipe, but you will be enticed to try other healthy foods. This e-cook book is the bridge to the other side of EATING HEALTHY & TRANSFORMING YOUR LIFE!

Here is a delicious recipe from the e-cook book that is healthy, hearty and satisfying:

Succulent Seductive Salad

1 lb tofu (firm)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup spelt flour
? cup pecans
5-8 tomato slices
4-5 avocado slices
1 ? cup safflower oil
? cup shaved carrots
1 Ib mixed field greens
? tsp granulated garlic
1-2 tbsp 100 maple syrup
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 fresh tangerine
any citrus fruit, juiced
? tsp. oregano/basil, dried

Cut tofu into cubes. Add oregano and garlic to flour. Coat tofu with seasoned flour.

Heat oil in skillet and add coated tofu to hot oil. Cook until all sides are golden brown. Drain.

Heat another skillet with butter. Add maple syrup and tofu and stir until tofu becomes a brown caramel color.

Repeat #3 process, but add pecans and sugar in place of tofu. Set aside and cool.

Layer mixed greens, tofu, pecans, tomatoes, onions, avocados, carrots and cilantro. Stir citrus-ginger dressing and add to salad to serve.

Monique Marion Sharp has been serving vegetarian food to the movers and shakers of Atlanta metropolitan for the past seven years. While serving the community, she has worked at Atlanta’s most popular restaurants and hotels observing and learning everything from the kitchen to the front of the restaurant.

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