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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

Last Sunday we had a family dinner/ Thanksgiving re-do. So I tried this recipe that I found on Annie's Eats. This recipe is totally perfect for a Thanksgiving type meal, ooOor if you're pregnant and craving apple pie and cheesecake all at once like me! I changed the original recipe a bit and am quite pleased with the changes I made so below is my version. Enjoy! It was so tasty that it was all gone before I got a chance to take a picture.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
5 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
½ cup caramel
1 cup roughly chopped pecans

For the apple filling:
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
4-6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

For the cheesecake:
16 oz. cream cheese
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large egg
1 ½ Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the topping:
¾ cup heavy cream
3-4 tbsp. confectioners' sugar
¼-½ cup caramel
Chopped pecans

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 375° F.  Line the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with parchment paper.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter.  Toss with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened and the ingredients are evenly mixed.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared springform pan and press the crumbs in an even layer over the pan bottom and about half to two-thirds of the way up the sides of the pan.  Bake for 6-8 minutes, until golden in color.  Let cool for about 10 minutes.  Pour a layer of caramel into the bottom of the crust and sprinkle evenly with the chopped pecans.  Refrigerate the crust while you prepare the filling.

To make the apple filling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Mix in the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute, until bubbling.  Mix in the apple slices and toss well to coat.  Cook over medium to medium-high heat until tender and most of the liquid has been reduced, about 15-20 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes and pour into the prepared pie shell.  Set aside.  

Reduce the heat of the oven to 350° F.  To make the cheesecake layer, combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.   Mix in the vanilla, egg and lemon juice until fully incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Spread the cheesecake filling into an even layer over the top of the cooked apples in the crust.  Place a 9x13 baking pan filled with approximately 2 inches of boiling water on the rack directly below the center. Bake until the cheesecake layer is set about 30-35 mins.  The center will be set and not jiggly. Turn the heat off at this point and keep the oven closed as you allow it to cool for an additional 25-30 mins. Remove from the oven.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  

To serve, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream and confectioners' sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (be careful not to over-beat.)  Spread gently over the top of the chilled cheesecake layer.  Top with dollops of caramel sauce and swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.  Sprinkle with a handful of chopped pecans if desired.  Slice with a long, thin knife to serve.

Adapted from From Annie's Eats