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salted caramel apple cheesecake

apple cheesecake

This is just the natural progression in the life of Salted Caramel Sauce. When you think of caramel sauce, you think of apples. That’s just given. Nothing goes hand in hand like those two. Just like cookies and milk, fish and chips, peanut butter and jelly, razzle and dazzle, itchy and scratchy…..you get the point.

What didn’t originally and immediately come to my mind was a cheesecake. Until I saw the cream cheese packages in my refrigerator. When did I buy those? How long have they been in there? Suffice it to say that if I didn’t use them right away, I’d be seeing them in the trash very soon. That’s when the decision was made.

And what a great decision it was! I’m much better at decision-making when it’s forced on me by expiration dates. I work well under pressure.

apple caramel cheesecake

This cheesecake may have been the best one I’ve ever made! But then again, I’ve said that for nearly every dessert I make. What can I say. When it comes to choosing desserts, it’s like choosing among your children. Everyone is the favorite. Am I right or am I right?

Honestly, trust me on this one! You need to make this! It is that good!

salted caramel cheesecake

Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake

The crust
4 whole graham crackers
1/4 cup chopped pecan
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp melted butter

1. Grind crackers and pecan in a food processor until finely ground. Add cinnamon. Pulse to combine.
2. Add melted butter and pulse to combine.
3. Spray the bottom and side of a 6-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
4. Press graham cracker crumbs onto the bottom and 1 inch up on the side of pan.
5. Bake in 350°F oven for 8 minutes to set the crust.
6. Let cool before filling.

The filling/cheesecake
2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese
3 tbsp. salted caramel sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream or half & half
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Bring all ingredients to room temperature. Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
2. Beat softened cream cheese with a hand-held mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Don’t overbeat.
3. Add sugar and salted caramel sauce. Beat until blended and smooth.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat just until blended.
4. Add vanilla and cream/half&half, and mix on low-speed, just until well blended. Pour over crust.
5. Wrap bottom of pan in a double layers of foil, place in a roasting pan. Pour in hot water so it comes halfway up the side of the springform pan.
6. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until cheesecake is slightly puffy but still jiggles in the center.
7. Let cool completely, then refrigerate overnight before serving.

The apple topping
3 apples (use sturdy apples that will hold up in cooking, such as Granny Smith or Fuji)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

1. Peel and core apples and slice thinly, but not super thin.
2. Make a simple syrup by boiling the sugar and water. Or you can use 1/3 cup of apple juice.
3. Add the apple slices to the syrup and continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender and syrup is thickened.
4. Remove from heat and cool completely before using.

The salted caramel sauce
Recipe is in my previous post.

Prior to serving, arrange apple slices decoratively on top of the cheesecake and drizzle salted caramel sauce.

Bonus tips
1. To avoid cracks or cheesecakes caving in, don’t overbeat. In fact, I like mixing my cheesecake batter by hand, with a fork, instead of electric mixer. It’s easy to do when making a small amount for a small cake, and when all the ingredients are brought to room temperature.
2. Do not insert a toothpick or a skewer to test the doneness of the cake. Lightly tap the side of the pan with a wooden spoon instead. It’s okay for the center of the cake to jiggle slightly. It will continue to set and firm up while it cools.
3. Baking the cake in a water bath does help considerably in preventing cracks. If springform pans are used, make sure to line the bottom of pans with a double layers of aluminum foil, to prevent water from seeping in.