Caramel Apple Cheesecake
This gorgeous Caramel Apple Cheesecake is the perfect way to kick off the fall baking season! Perfectly creamy cheesecake is flavored with cinnamon and vanilla and is complimented by a crunchy graham cracker crust, tart apples and rich salted caramel sauce.
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 10-11 full crackers
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt omit if using salted butter
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter 8 Tablespoons, melted
- 24 ounces cream cheese 3 packages
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon extract and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 teaspoons salt good quality sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 to 3 apples tart, firm apples (such as Granny Smith)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter 4 tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350*F.
Melt butter in a large bowl, then set aside. Crush graham crackers and then add graham cracker crumbs, chopped nuts, sugar cinnamon and salt into the bowl with the melted butter. Stir together until well combined.
Remove a slightly rounded 1/4 cup of the crumb mixture and set aside. Pour the remainder of mixture into a 9" springform pan and use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to press the mixture firmly into the bottom and about 1 inch up the side of the pan. Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
Spread the extra 1/4 cup of crumbs onto a baking sheet and bake in the (already heated) oven for about 4-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Gather all of your ingredients on the counter so your cream cheese and eggs can warm up to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend cream cheese until smooth.
Add sugar and continue to blend. Add eggs, one at a time (while blending). Add sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla, and cinnamon. Blend until all ingredients are smooth and well incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust.
Prepare the cheesecake pan to be baked in a water bath (as follows). To prepare water bath, wrap the cheesecake pan (bottom and sides) with foil, (you may need to criss cross two sheets of foil) so that no water can get into the pan. Place the foil wrapped cheesecake pan in a large roasting pan or baking dish, then pour HOT water into the roasting dish until the water is about 1" deep. Carefully move to oven and bake.
Bake cheesecake in pre-heated oven at 325*F (note this is reduced from the crust baking temperature) for 60-65 minutes, until the outside edges are set, but the center still jiggles a bit when nudged. At this time, turn OFF the oven and open the oven door part way. Allow the cheesecake to slowly cool in the oven for 1 hour. Move cheesecake to the counter and cool an additional hour. At this time, move the cheesecake to the fridge (cover with foil) and chill for AT LEAST 6 hours, or overnight.
Make the Caramel Sauce
Warm the heavy cream in a bowl in the microwave and then set aside.
In a large saucepan, add the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir gently to incorporate the ingredients.
Cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring gently, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling.
Stop stirring and allow the mixture to boil undisturbed until it begins to darken in color. You want the mixture to reach a honey color, but no darker. The syrup will change from light in color to dark very quickly, so it's important to watch closely and remove the pan from the heat as soon as it's light-medium honey color.
Once removed from heat, carefully and slowly pour in the warm heavy cream (the mixture will hiss and bubble). Stir to full incorporate the cream.
Add butter and salt and stir to combine. Add vanilla.
Allow sauce to cool a bit, then pour into a jar. Cool at room temperature, then cover jar and store in the refrigerator.
Peel apples and dice into small pieces. Add apples, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon into a skillet and cook over medium-high heat.
Cook until the apples begin to soften, but still have some texture (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool before topping cheesecake.
Retrieve the cheesecake from the fridge, and carefully remove springform pan. Move cheesecake to a plate or cake stand of your choice. Top cheesecake with the cooled apples, then drizzle generously with caramel sauce and finish with the saved crumble. Slice and enjoy. Store any leftover cheesecake in the fridge.
Prepare the cheesecake the day before you plan to serve it (unless you start it very early in the morning).
You can also make the salted caramel sauce a day in advance. You will have caramel sauce left over, but I do not recommend making a smaller batch of it, because it will be too easy to burn while cooking. Enjoy the leftover caramel with some fresh apple slices as a delicious snack!
Calories: 575kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 456mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 1245IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1mg