November 22, 2011

Fall Treats #14: Caramel Apple Cheesecake

That's a whole lot of goodness in one dessert. This holiday I've found myself becoming relatively sick of pumpkin. Okay don't judge because I know pumpkin is ultra-trendy right now, but after three months of pumpkin desserts, I'm ready for the alternatives that Fall has to offer. 
ENTER: Apple. Always a favorite. When I was little I didn't care for pumpkin pie, I thought the texture was weird and the taste different, and so my mom's apple streusel pie was always my dessert of choice for Thanksgiving. 

So let me tell you about this pie.
Holy moly. It's like three different desserts combined into one, with so many flavors that blend perfectly together.
Let's begin with the graham cracker cinnamon crust. crunchy, sweet, and oh so traditional.
Once the crust is baked, you add a layer of caramel and pecans, followed by tender baked apples, packed with butter, cinnamon and sugar.
did i mention that this pie isn't very good for you?
Top the apples with classic and tangy cheesecake, and then finish it off with fresh whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and pecans.


Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie
adapted from Annie's Eats

For the graham cracker crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted 
¾ cup bottled caramel (like Smuckers)
1 cup chopped pecans

preheat the oven to 375. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon until well combined and all the crumbs are moistened. Pour the mixture into the lined springform pan, and press the crust into the pan evenly, lining the pan about 2/3 way up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes, then let cool 5-10 minutes. Pour the caramel into the bottom of the pan and top with chopped pecans. Let refrigerate while preparing the rest of the pie.

For the apple filling:
6 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
5 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon

melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and cook for about a minute. Add the apples slices and coat with the butter mixture. Turn up the heat to medium high, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, until the apples are tender and most of the liquid is reduced. Let cool for five minutes then pour over the caramel and pecan layer of the pie. Refrigerate while making cheesecake layer.

For the cheesecake layer:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a mixer and fitted with the paddle attachment, mix until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla, egg, and lemon juice, and mix well until there are no lumps and all is combined. Spread the cheesecake on top of the apples and bake the pie for 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

For the whipped cream:
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
sprinkle of cinnamon

When ready to serve, with a kitchen aid mixer or hand mixer, whisk heavy cream and powdered sugar on high until it forms whipped cream. Spread over the cheesecake layer, top with pecans and cinnamon and serve!


elizabeth, eliza, liza, liz, elles, etc. said...

looks amazing, thanks for sharing!

Emma said...

Thanks for posting this! I'm in charge of a dessert this year and I had no clue what to make. Then I saw this recipe and I just knew it would be perfect!