Fall Caramel Apple Cheesecake lizbushong.com

Oh my goodness! Do you love apples, caramel and… cheesecake? Then you will love this recipe for fall, Caramel Apple Cheesecake. Rich graham cracker crust surrounds a creamy thick New York style cheesecake filling topped with an apple crumble mixture. Once the cheesecake is baked, caramel ice cream topping is drizzled over the the dessert as well as individual servings. Chill the cheesecake at least 24 hours before slicing for beautiful servings.

 Fall caramel apple cheesecake lizbushong.com  

(Fall caramel apple cheesecake lizbushong.com

How to Make Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Whether you have made cheesecakes just recently or in the past, this recipe is not difficult to make. The biggest challenge is the time factor, chilling the cake before serving. Ha Ha but not to worry you will be glad you waited for the flavor is wonderful. Let’s make this cheesecake.

Don’t panic by the length of this recipe or the bain marie (water bath) it really isn’t a big deal. I promise.

Let’s start with the prepping of ingredients and the springform pan. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Prepare 9-inch spring-form pan by turning the bottom pan upside down so baked cheesecake will slide off easily onto serving pedestal once chilled. Lightly coat with cooking spray, bottom and sides of pan. You don’t have to do this, but I found the cheesecake does slide easily over onto a cake stand if you do invert the bottom pan.

Gather your grahams, I used cinnamon instead of honey graham crackers, this really added additional flavor to the crust. Melt your butter and have sugar measured and ready to pulse in food processor.

Tip Adding sugar will help solidify the crust

Next, In a food processor fitted with steel blade, pulse grahams to fine even crumbs, about 60 seconds.  Add sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pulse to combine. Add melted butter in slow steady speed while pulsing processor. Graham crackers should be moist and look like wet sand.

How to make cheesecake crust -caramel apple cheesecake lizbushong.com

Fill spring form pan with crumbs. Level crumbs on bottom and up the sides of the pan leaving 1” from the topsides of the pan free of crumbs.  Using the back of a small measuring cup, press the sides and bottom of pan to solidify and pack graham crackers.  

Bake in preheated 350 F. degree oven, crust for 8 minutes. Remove to cooling rack. Once cooled, triple-wrap the bottom of the pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Set the foil lined-pan in a large roasting pan with 4” sides for hot water bath.

Turn oven down to 325 F. degrees while making fillings. Heat 4 to 6 cups of water for water bath.

How to Make Caramel Apple Cheesecake lizbushong.com

What Does the Water Bath Do for Cheesecakes?

Mainly, it helps keep your cheesecake from cracking on the top and makes the consistency smooth and creamy. Simply put it is a “spa” for the cheesecake. Ha Ha. A water bath that creates steam for a smooth creamy texture. Its not difficult to do, just make sure you wrap your springform pan triple with heavy duty foil before inserting into the pan of water. The hot water is added half way up the side of the cheesecake pan. So I like to put my roasting pan in the oven with the middle rack half way out of the oven door, then place my foil wrapped cheesecake in the middle of pan, last add the hot water to half way up the side of the cheesecake pan. Carefully slide rack back inside oven and close the door. Bake as directed.

Apple Filling and Crumble Topping

Crumble Topping: melt butter in glass measuring cup add orange extract, sugar, salt, cinnamon and flour. Toss with fork to combine. Chill until needed.

Apple Filling: Place diced apples in small bowl, toss with lemon juice. Combine cinnamon, sugar, and cornstarch. Pour over the apples and toss to coat. Set aside while making cheesecake filling.

Fall Caramel Apple Cheesecake lizbushong.com

Making the Cheesecake

Beat softened cream cheese in a large bowl using a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat until smooth and creamy. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl mix cheese to blend. In small bowl, combine sugar and flour.  With mixer running on medium speed, slowly add sugar flour mix. Beat until smooth, scraping down sides and bottom of mixing bowl.

How to Make Caramel Apple Cheesecake lizbushong.com

Add eggs one at a time mixing on medium low speed, mix until yolk is blended before adding another egg. Do not over beat cheese mixture.

Add orange and vanilla extract with sour cream to cheese mixture, beating on low speed until combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of mixing bowl, using rubber spatula fold mixture to blend evenly.

Putting it all Together

Pour cheesecake filling into crust foil lined prepared pan. Smooth to evenly spread filling over bottom of pan.  Carefully spoon diced apple filling over the cheesecake filling beginning at the outer edge of pan working in toward the center. Do not mound the center with apple filling.

How to Make Caramel Apple Cheesecake lizbushong.com

Use a fork and break up the crumble topping, leaving some pieces in large clumps. Sprinkle over the diced apples taking care not to overload the center of the cake.

How to Make Caramel Apple Cheesecake lizbushong.com

Pull out medium rack half way out of oven. Place cheesecake in middle of roasting pan, place in oven on medium center rack. While rack is out fill  roasting pan with hot water half way up the sides of the spring-form pan. Slide rack inside oven. Bake at 325 F until the center jiggles slightly and top is golden brown. Bakes about 90 minutes and continue to bake 10 additional minutes if necessary. 

Once cake is done baking.Turn oven off and prop door open with wooden spoon handle.  Allow cheesecake to cool in hot water bath for one hour. Transfer cheesecake to wire rack and remove foil.  Slide a small thin knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen cheesecake.  Leave cheesecake in the pan and cool to room temperature about 2 hours. Do not drizzle with caramel sauce yet. Add sauce right before serving.

Fall Caramel Apple Cheesecake lizbushong.com

In addition when the cheesecake is cooled, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight or 24 hours.  I know… 24 hours.  But you will be glad you let it chill that long.

To Serve: Remove sides of spring-form pan and carefully slide cake to serving pedestal-cake stand. Right before serving, drizzle with room temperature caramel sauce, sea salt and garnish with slivers of apple slices on top center of cake. Slice into wedges and serve. Serve each serving slice with 3 small slivers of apple with peeling if desired.

Fall Caramel Apple Cheesecake lizbushong.com

Notes: Slicing cheesecake is best when cake is very cold. To slice clean slices, warm the cake knife under hot water, carefully dry before slicing. Repeat for each slice. Avoid dragging the knife with each slice.

Garnish with apple slices dipped in lemon juice, serve with a few slices per serving if you would like. 

Fall Caramel Apple Cheesecake lizbushong.com

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Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Rich New York Style Cheesecake with graham cracker crust and apple crumble topping. Once baked caramel ice cream topping is drizzled over each slice. Best to chill 24 hours before serving for perfect flavor and slices.

  • Author: Liz Bushong
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour + 45 minutes, chill time 12+45 minutes
  • Total Time: 15-16 hours
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

2 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs -15 sheets

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup butter, melted

Apple Layer Topping

2 medium gala or golden delicious apples, peeled, diced 1/4” pieces

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Crumble Topping

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Cheesecake Filling

4 packages or 32 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon orange extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

Garnish:

1/2 cup caramel sauce for drizzling

2 tablespoons coarse sea salt -optional

5-7 thin sliced apple slices for center décor of cake-coat in lemon juice to prevent browning

Instructions

Prepare Crust:

1.Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Prepare 9-inch spring-form pan by turning the bottom pan upside down so baked cheesecake will slide off easily onto serving pedestal once chilled. Lightly coat with cooking spray, bottom and sides of pan.

2. In a food processor fitted with steel blade, pulse grahams to fine even crumbs, about 60 seconds.  Add sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pulse to combine. Add melted butter in slow steady speed while pulsing processor. Graham crackers should be moist and look like wet sand.

4. Fill spring form pan with crumbs. Level crumbs on bottom and up the sides of the pan leaving 1” from the topsides of the pan free of crumbs.  Using the back of a small measuring cup, press the sides and bottom of pan to solidify and pack graham crackers.  

5. Bake in preheated 350 F. degree oven, crust for 8 minutes. Remove to cooling rack. Once cooled, triple-wrap the bottom of the pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Set the foil lined-pan in a large roasting pan with 4” sides for hot water bath.

6. Turn oven down to 325 F. degrees while making fillings. Heat 4 to 6 cups of water for water bath.

Prepare Crumble Topping and Apple Filling

1.    Crumble Topping: melt butter in glass measuring cup add orange extract, sugar, salt, cinnamon and flour. Toss with fork to combine. Chill until needed.

2.    Apple Filling: Place diced apples in small bowl, toss with lemon juice. Combine cinnamon, sugar, and cornstarch. Pour over the apples and toss to coat. Set aside while making cheesecake filling. 

Making Cheesecake Filling

1.    Beat softened cream cheese in a large bowl using a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat until smooth and creamy. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl mix cheese to blend. In small bowl, combine sugar and flour.  With mixer running on medium speed, slowly add sugar flour mix. Beat until smooth, scraping down sides and bottom of mixing bowl.

2.    Add eggs one at a time mixing on medium low speed, mix until yolk is blended before adding another egg. Do not over beat cheese mixture.

3.    Add orange and vanilla extract with sour cream to cheese mixture, beating on low speed until combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of mixing bowl, using rubber spatula fold mixture to blend evenly.

Assembling Cheesecake

1.    Pour cheesecake filling into crust foil lined prepared pan. Smooth to evenly spread filling over bottom of pan.  Carefully spoon diced apple filling over the cheesecake filling beginning at the outer edge of pan working in toward the center. Do not mound the center with apple filling.

2.    Use a fork and break up the crumble topping, leaving some pieces in large clumps. Sprinkle over the diced apples taking care not to overload the center of the cake.

3.    Pull out medium rack half way out of oven. Place cheesecake in middle of roasting pan, place in oven on medium center rack. While rack is out fill  roasting pan with hot water half way up the sides of the spring-form pan. Slide rack inside oven. Bake at 325F until the center jiggles slightly and top is golden brown. Bakes about 90 +10 additional minutes if needed.

4.    Turn oven off and prop door open with wooden spoon handle.  Allow cheesecake to cool in hot water bath for one hour. Transfer cheesecake to wire rack and remove foil.  Slide a small thin knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen cheesecake.  Leave cheesecake in the pan and cool to room temperature about 2 hours.

5.    Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight or 24 hours.

 

To Serve: Remove sides of spring-form pan and carefully slide cake to serving pedestal-cake stand. Right before serving, drizzle with room temperature caramel sauce, sea salt and garnish with slivers of apple slices on top center of cake. Slice into wedges and serve. Serve each serving slice with 3 small slivers of apple with peeling if desired.

Notes: Slicing cheesecake is best when cake is very cold. To slice clean slices, warm the cake knife under hot water, carefully dry before slicing. Repeat for each slice. Avoid dragging the knife with each slice.

 

Cheesecake can be frozen with out caramel sauce and apples. Wrap carefully in freezer wrap and then plastic wrap then seal in airtight container.

Unwrap and thaw over night before serving.

 

Notes

Baking the cheesecake in water bath is essential to a successful bake. Make sure you triple wrap your pan with heavy duty aluminum foil to prevent water from seeping into your cheesecake crust.

Chilling 24 hours is also an important step for success with this cheesecake. The orange and apple flavor will mellow with the cheesecake as well as your slices will be clean.

To cut slices: warm a cake knife in hot water, dry off and slice cheesecake without back and forth motion, clean knife for each slice.

Recipe adapted from Saving Room for Dessert

Keywords: Caramel Apple Cheesecake, Salted Caramel, Apples Crumble Topping, Apples, Cheesecake, Caramel sauce

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