Cooking, Fall Recipes, Recipes

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Call me crazy, but I love the last days of fall leading up to a Thanksgiving where we’re hosting at home and not traveling. It feels like a long and lazy indulgent morning where the rest of the world is heading off to work and you can hit the snooze button and stay wrapped up in the covers in your socks and fuzzy pajamas for just a little bit longer, where the day before you starts with a long stretch of time wrapped in blankets with a hot mug of coffee cradled in your hands. All the Hallmark feels.

Because while everyone else is packing and piling into cars and planes and trains and rushing off all over the place, while the city is emptying out, we’re here, just taking it easy, taking a breather, making the decision to not get in the car at all that day, thinking about what to make for breakfast and wondering what we should start baking that day.

Probably cornbread for the cornbread stuffing. Probably the pies. And definitely a thin but decadent caramel apple cheesecake to use up what’s left of the apples from our apple harvest!

I’ve had the idea for this cheesecake floating around in the back of my head for a while, and finally turned it into a reality. Scott loves baked apples and caramel, so this seemed like a logical extension of the idea. And it’s a pretty great way to thank your husband for being the kind of guy who will get up early, get you situated in your favorite chair wrapped up in a big fuzzy blanket and cuddling your sleeping baby, go make you a cup of coffee, and get the dishes done.

Seriously, the most romantic thing the guy can say to me these days? “I did the dishes.” Or “The laundry is all folded.” Best one yet? “You stay in bed, and then take your shower. I’ve got the baby.” The things that make you swoon when you’re married. Although now that I think about it, when I was single, the best pick-up line anyone could have used would probably be, “I’ll make you breakfast in bed and wash all the dishes.”

And for both my husband and I, a tasty treat says “I love you” pretty darn well, too!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Makes one thin 12″ cheesecake.

What You’ll Need:

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 3 pkg 8-oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 well beaten eggs

For the topping:

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 medium apples, sliced and peeled
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

How to Make It:

1. Wrap a springform pan {mine is a 12″ but for a taller cake, you can use a 8-9″} in aluminum foil and get out a roasting pan. Preheat your oven to 325F.

2. In a food processor or blender, pulse the graham crackers into crumbs. Add the sugar and the melted butter and pulse on low until combined. Press the mixture into the springform pan to create the crust. Bake for 7 minutes and set aside.

3. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low until the cheese is creamy and taking on a whipped consistency. Add the sugar and mix until combined. Add the flour, sour cream, vanilla, spices, and cream, and let mix until smooth. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then add to the mixture, and beat until completely incorporated.

4. Pour the batter over the baked crust. Tap the pan gently on the sides to release any air bubbles from the batter. Place the pan in the roasting pan and pour enough water into the roasting pan to come up 1″ on the side of the springform pan.

5. Place the pans in the oven and bake 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the cheesecake is starting to get slightly golden on top.

6. While the cake is baking, make the caramel sauce and apple topping. Start by melting the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the apple slices and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook until soft, or about 10 minutes.

7. Whisk together the brown sugar and cream. Pour the mixture over the apples and bring to a low boil. Then let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

8. Spoon out the apple slices and let them cool. Replace the skillet with the sauce back on the heat and let thicken 2 minutes. Then let the sauce cool to room temperature.

9. When the cheesecake is done, cool completely on the counter. Then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

10. Spoon the caramel sauce over the cheesecake and spread evenly. Top with the baked apples and drizzle with more caramel if desired. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Serve and enjoy!

How about you guys? What’s the most romantic thing your significant other does for you these days?

 

2 thoughts on “Caramel Apple Cheesecake”

  1. That looks amazing! I usually make an apple pie for Thanksgiving and I love it, but I’ve been making it for years and years and kind of want to mix it up, so I might have to try this next year.

    1. I love pies, but this holiday, I was feeling kind of over-pie’d, so this happened. And I would say that every day should be an occasion for cheesecake! {see also: why I’m not skinny :p }

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