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Friday, December 21, 2012

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

This is one of my favorite desserts. I have included directions on how to make the entire dessert from scratch. HOWEVER, you can take shortcuts by replacing the crust, apple pie filling, and/ or caramel topping with store-bought equivalents. TIP: If using store-bought caramel. I have found that Hersey’s is thicker than Smuckers, though both often run. If you are having issues with caramel oozing off cake when cut, then drizzle caramel over individual slices.

I would try a dry Champagne (or other bubbly) or a semi-sweet to sweet Gewürztraminer with this cake. Let me know how it works. :=)

Servings: 8-10
·         1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust (use the recipe below or buy one)
·         Apple Pie Filling (recipe below or use 1 ~twenty-ounce can apple pie filling)
·         Caramel Topping (recipe below or use store-bought)
·         2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
·         1/2 cup sugar
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         2 eggs

1.       Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2.      Spoon apple pie filling onto the crust.
3.      Using electric mixer, whip the cream cheese in a large bowl until fluffy.
4.      Add the sugar, vanilla and eggs and beat until smooth.  Pour this over the pie filling.
5.      Bake until the center of the cake is set, ~25  minutes. Cool to room temperature.
6.      Spread caramel over the cheesecake.
7.      Refrigerate overnight.


·         1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
·         1/3 cup sugar
·         1/ 2 tsp cinnamon
·         1/3 cup butter, melted
1.       Preheat oven to 350°F
2.      Mix ingredients together
3.      Using a spoon or rubber spatula, press mixture into bottom and up sides of 9 inch springform pan.
4.      Bake crust for 6 minutes. Cool before filling.


·         2 cups apple juice
·         1/4 cup granulated sugar
·         1 tsp vanilla
·         1 tsp cinnamon
·         1 tbsp corn starch
·         1 tablespoon cold butter
·         3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
·         3 Fuji apples, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
·         1/4 cup  brandy

1.       Pour apple juice into a large sauté pan. Add cornstarch and stir.
2.      Add sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and bring to a boil over high heat and cook until slightly thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup.
3.      Stir in the butter until melted.
4.      Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized and soft.
5.      Add the apple brandy and cook until liquid is thick and almost gone.  
6.      Transfer the apples to a plate and let cool slightly.


·         1 cup sugar
·         6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
·         1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

1.       In a medium saucepan, cook the sugar over medium heat. The best way to do this is let it melt on its own. If it appears to be melting unevenly, stir it to spread heat. This may cause lumps, but they should melt.
2.      Melt butter and cream in microwave
3.      When sugar turns a deep amber color, SLOWLY add the butter and cream and whisk until the caramel is smooth. If there are any hard pieces, break them up with spoon. If some don’t break up, you can strain caramel into a bowl.
4.      Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.