Caramel Apple Cheesecake. Cinnamon praline crust. Apple butter, caramel, cinnamon, brown sugar cheesecake. Topped with caramelized apples. Served with whipped cream.
tarts. tarts. tartistry.
I’m known for my cheesecakes. Early cheesecake baking success led to the discovery that people love cheesecake and they appreciate the ones I produce.
I enjoy making them and like many other desserts, love being creative with the different layers and final presentation. Simple and elegant, or over-the-top, garnishing and plating cheesecake is half the fun.
I bake most of my cheesecakes. I use 4-inch and 9-inch springform pans. Recipes are constructed to create 1 large cheesecake OR 4 to 6 mini cheesecakes depending on the thickness.
I use a water bath (a large roasting pan) when baking cheesecakes. This technique keeps the cheesecake moist and helps prevent cracking. The springform pan (with crust prebaked if necessary and topped with prepared filling) is wrapped on the outside with heavy duty aluminum foil and placed in the roasting pan. The roasting pan is placed in the preheated oven and the pan filled an inch or so up the side of the springform pan with very hot water. The cake is baked, removed from the bath, set on a wire rack, and cooled briefly. I run a paring knife around the outside of the finished cake, and cool completely. The paring knife releases the cake from the springform pan, ensuring an easy unmolding from the springform pan. It is this step that helps eliminate the chance of the cake sticking to the springform pan when the lever is released on the side of the pan, and potentially cracking the top.
This is one of my favorite desserts.
Apple butter cheesecake with a praline crust. The cheesecake is served slightly chilled topped with warm caramelized apples and a big dollop of whipped cream.
Simple, yet decadent.
The praline crust is made from butter and brown sugar that has been combined and boiled in a saucepan. The hot sugar mixture is poured over cinnamon graham crackers and whole pecans in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet tray.
The tray goes into a preheated oven about ten minutes. The caramel pecan mix is cooled until solid, and then broken into small pieces. The pieces are pulsed in a food processor with melted butter. The crumb mixture is pressed into a springform pan to form the cheesecake crust and chilled until ready to use.
The cream cheese cheesecake batter features brown sugar, cinnamon, caramel sauce, and apple butter. The batter is poured over the chilled crust and the cheesecake is baked in a water bath until firm. Apple cider, brown sugar, butter and caramel sauce are simmered in a large sauté pan with peeled and cored apple slices. Cheesecake slices are topped with the sautéed apples and whipped cream.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake
- 1 (9-inch) springform pan
- 200 grams cinnamon graham crackers (12 crackers)
- 90 grams whole or chopped pecans (3/4 cup)
- 115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick OR 1/2 cup)
- 1 gram sea salt (1/4 teaspoon)
- 100 grams light or dark brown sugar (1/2 cup)
- 42 grams unsalted butter (3 tablespoons), melted
- 672 grams cream cheese (three 8-ounces each packages), room temperature
- 200 grams light brown sugar (1 cup)
- 25 grams all-purpose flour (3 tablespoons)
- 3 grams ground cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
- 125 grams sour cream (1/2 cup), room temperature
- 1/2 cup apple butter
- 1/4 cup caramel sauce
- 200 grams egg (4 large), room temperature
- 2 to 3 each apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 14 grams unsalted butter (1 tablespoon)
- 15 grams fresh lemon juice (1 tablespoon)
- 3 grams ground cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
- 50 grams light brown sugar (1/4 cup), loosely packed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a large rimmed baking pan with parchment paper or silpat mat. Arrange the cinnamon graham crackers in the center of the tray on the parchment.
- Sprinkle the pecans over the crackers. Set aside.
- Add the unsalted butter, sea salt and brown sugar to a small saucepan.
- Melt the butter and sugar over medium heat. Whisk until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue stirring for about 2 minutes.
- Pour the hot sugar mixture over the crackers and pecans. Use a spatula to spread the mixture evenly over the crackers and nuts.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Cool completely at room temperature. Break up the crackers and add to food processor bowl. Pulse until crumbs. Add melted butter to food processor. Pulse until well combined.
- Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Use a flat bottomed glass or small offset spatula to create an even crust.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Add the softened cream cheese to stand mixer. Beat on low until smooth.
- Add light brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and ground cinnamon to cream cheese in stand mixer bowl.
- Beat on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula, if necessary.
- Add the sour cream, apple butter, and caramel sauce to the cheese mixture. Beat on low until smooth and well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat on low just until incorporated.
- Wrap heavy duty foil along the bottom and up the sides of the chilled springform pan with praline crust. Repeat with a second piece of foil.
- Pour the prepared cheesecake filling into the springform pan over the crust.
- Place the springform pan into a large roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the preheated oven. Add enough warm water to the roasting pan to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan, but not over the foil.
- Bake in preheated oven for 90 minutes. Turn off the oven, do not open the oven door and let set for 30 minutes. Open the oven an inch or so and let set for 30 minutes. Remove the springform pan from the roasting pan, and set on wire rack to cool to room temperature.
- Remove the foil. Leave the cheesecake in the springform pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight to set completely.
- Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan.
- Add the prepared apple slices, unsalted butter, fresh lemon juice, ground cinnamon, and light brown sugar to a large skillet. Heat over medium low heat 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, or until the apples have softened.
- Remove the apples with a slotted spoon to a small bowl. Continue to cook the remaining liquid until it thickens. Add the thickened sauce to the apples.
- Place the cheesecake on a serving plate and top with caramelized apples.