Years ago, I decided to dress up my basic cheesecake by adding a topping of caramel apple slices. The rich, sweet-tart dessert is especially popular during fall and winter.
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 4 medium tart apples, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, pecans, butter and brown sugar. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-in. pie plate; set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in extracts. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust.
- Bake at 325° for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate overnight.
- For topping, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add apples and lemon juice. Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until apples are tender. Add brown sugar and cinnamon; cook 2-3 minutes longer or until brown sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly. Serve with cheesecake. Yield: 8 servings (2 cups topping).
Originally published as Cheesecake with Caramel Apple Topping in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2013, p40
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