My family and I didn't have the chance to go apple picking this season!! We had weddings to attend, a couple of weekends it was downright cold and rainy and then we heard that the orchards have slim pickings because it wasn't a good crop year for apples. Haven't said that, it still didn't stop me from partaking in one of my favorite Fall season rituals. Baking!! Nothing compares to the aroma of apples and cinnamon wafting through the house. I recently bought a candle aptly named "apple pie" and it just doesn't compare to the real thing. This dessert pairs of all my favorite components in one dessert.
Caramel sauce. Apples. Brownie. Cheescake. O-M-G! This dessert is a little labor intensive but it is worth it and the recipe does come together quickly. The most time consuming element of this great dessert is peeling the apples and even that puts me in a good mood. This dessert is perfect now, later or for your Thanksgiving table. It's that good and that beautiful.
Caramel Apple Brownie Cheesecake
Yield: 12 servings (if your a normal family)
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional, I did not use)
2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, divided
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Sprinkle pecans over bottom of a greased and floured shiny 9-inch springform pan.*
Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Scrape bowl and set aside.
Whisk together brown sugar, melted butter, and remaining egg in a large bowl until blended. Stir together flour, cinnamon and baking powder; add to brown sugar mixture, and stir until blended. Stir in apples. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Carefully spoon cream cheese mixture over batter.
Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until set in a bain marie. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool completely in pan on a wire rack (about 2 hours). Transfer to a serving plate.
Meanwhile, prepare Caramel Apple Topping and Caramel Sauce. Spoon apple topping over cheesecake; drizzle with caramel sauce.
*Note: I omitted the entire pecan step, you certainly don't have to.
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
5 large Granny Smith apples (about 2 1/2 lbs.), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add sugar and lemon juice, and cook, stirring constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon, 5 to 6 minutes or until mixture turns a light golden brown. Add apple wedges. Cook, stirring often, 15 to 18 more minutes or until apples are tender and caramelized. Remove from heat; cool 20 minutes.
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup honey (you can add less honey if you want only a subtle taste)
Bring brown sugar, butter, whipping cream, and honey to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool 15 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week. To reheat, microwave at HIGH 10 to 15 seconds or just until warm; stir until smooth.
Source: Southern Magazine