Who hasn’t fallen under the spell of dulce de leche or, as it’s called in Chile, manjar? In this seductive cheesecake, chef Pilar Rodriguez, from Santa Cruz in the Colchagua wine region, bakes the rich filling in an oatmeal crust and tops each slice with cinnamon-scented, auteed apple slices.

Yield: 8 servings
Preparation time: about 1¼ hours, plus unattended cooling time
Shelf life: 3 days

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups crumbled oatmeal (digestive) biscuits
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons, plus 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 ounces whipped cream cheese
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups manjar or dulce de leche
  • 4 crisp red apples, such as Macoun
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 325 F. Heat a kettle of water until boiling. Place a deep 9 x 13–inch baking pan in the oven.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the biscuits, sugar and salt and pulse until fairly finely ground, or crush by hand. Add the 3 tablespoons of butter and blend. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking pan and press firmly to cover evenly. Bake for 12 minutes, remove and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  3. Prepare the filling: Sprinkle the gelatin on the cold milk and let sit for 2 minutes. In the food processor or by hand, beat the cream cheese, eggs and gelatin mixture until well blended. Add the manjar and mix until smooth. Spread the mixture evenly over the biscuit base.
  4. Place the cheesecake pan inside the larger pan in the oven. Fill the larger pan at least halfway with boiling water and bake until the center is firm, about 1 hour. Remove the pans from the oven and let the cheesecake cool completely in the water, about 2 hours. Remove the cheesecake pan, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  5. Peel, core and cut the apples into eighths. Melt the remaining butter in a skillet. When it bubbles, add the apples, sugar and cinnamon, turning to coat. Cook until slightly softened and sugar dissolves. Cut cake into 8 portions and serve topped with apple slices.

Nutritional Data (per serving): Calories: 520; Cholesterol: 120 mg; Sodium: 290 mg; Fat: 19 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g

Ingredient Cost Sheet

Ingredient Cost
1 1/2 cups crumbled oatmeal (digestive) biscuits $.51-.89
3 tablespoons granulated sugar $.06-.10
3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons for the apples $.22-.36
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin $.11-.19
1/3 cup milk $.08-.14
4 ounces whipped cream cheese $1.02-1.70
3 large eggs, beaten $.36-.60
1 1/2 cups manjar or dulce de leche $2.99-4.99
4 crisp red apples, such as Macoun $1.99-3.32
1/2 cup granulated sugar $.14-.24
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon $.06-.10