I prepare this dessert many times during apple season. But it's actually great for any occasion. The pie combines the fabulous flavors of caramel apples and cheesecake. —Leona Rothbauer, Bloomer, Wisconsin
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 5 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
- 21 caramels
- 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, divided
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 unbaked deep-dish pastry shell (9 inches)
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, chopped
- 2 cups whipped topping
- In a large skillet, combine 1/4 cup brown sugar and butter. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Add apples. Cook, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally; drain and set aside.
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine caramels and cream; cook over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat; keep warm. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, remaining brown sugar, vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon pie spice until smooth. Add egg; beat on low speed just until combined.
- Stir half of caramel mixture into apples. Pour into pastry shell. Combine pecans and chocolate chips; set aside 2 tablespoons for topping. Sprinkle remaining pecan mixture over apples. Fold remaining caramel mixture into cream cheese mixture. Spread over pecan mixture.
- Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until filling is set. Cool on a wire rack. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Combine whipped topping and remaining pumpkin pie spice; spread over pie just before serving. Sprinkle with reserved pecan mixture. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 8-10 servings.
Originally published as Taffy Apple Cheesecake Pie in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2005, p97
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