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Autumn Apple Cheesecake

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

A layer of caramel and apples hides in this baked cheesecake. Top it with maple whipped cream for the ultimate fall dessert.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Peeled, Sliced Apples
  • 10 Tablespoons Butter, Divided
  • 11 Tablespoons Sugar, Divided
  • ¼ teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 bag (11 Oz. Size) Caramels, Unwrapped
  • ⅓ cups Milk
  • 2 packages (8 Oz. Size) Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 2  Eggs, Room Temperature, Slightly Beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • Whipped Cream And Nuts, For Garnish (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by spraying it lightly with nonstick spray. Place a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and spray the parchment paper. Mold some aluminum foil around the outside of the pan so no butter drips out as the crust bakes. Set aside.

Mix sliced apples, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, and cinnamon in a medium skillet and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and continue to cook and stir another 3 minutes or until apples can be pierced easily with a fork, but aren’t mushy. Set aside to cool on wire rack.

Melt remaining 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter in a medium bowl in the microwave. Add graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar and mix well. Pat mixture in the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of the prepared springform pan. Bake 8 minutes, then set aside to cool.

While crust bakes, make the caramel by placing the unwrapped caramels in a medium bowl and adding the milk. Microwave on high, stirring after 1 minute. Continue microwaving and stirring at 30-second intervals until caramels are completely melted and mixture is smooth. Pour into a glass 1-cup measuring cup and set in the refrigerator to cool.

Put softened cream cheese and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth, 1–2 minutes. Add eggs, then vanilla, and beat just until combined.

Spread the cooled apples in bottom of the crust in the springform pan. Pour1/2 cup slightly cooled caramel evenly over the apples. Top with cream cheese mixture.

Bake 45–50 minutes. Center should not be jiggly. Cool 2 hours on wire rack, then run a thin knife around the edge of the cheesecake. Remove the sides of the pan and refrigerate the cheesecake, uncovered, at least 3 hours before cutting.

Serve each slice with some of the remaining caramel sauce, and garnish with whipped cream and nuts, if desired. Store leftover cheesecake loosely covered in refrigerator.

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