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Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Crust

  • 1½ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add the melted butter and use a fork to toss the mixture together until all of the crumbs are evenly moistened. Dump the crumbs into a 9-inch springform pan and press them into an even layer over the bottom and two-thirds of the way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Salted Caramel

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fleur de sel (or any other flaky sea salt)

Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy saucepan, with a capacity of at least 2 or 3 quarts. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. You’ll see that the sugar will begin to form clumps, but that’s okay. Just keep whisking and as it continues to cook, they will melt back down.  Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.

Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. It should look almost a reddish-brown, and have a slight toasted aroma. This is the point where caramel can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds, so keep a close eye. If you are using an instant-read thermometer, cook the sugar until it reaches 350 degrees F.

As soon as the caramel reaches 350 degrees, add the butter all at once. Be careful, as the caramel will bubble up when the butter is added. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted.

Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, be careful because the mixture will once again bubble up ferociously.  Whisk until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Add the fleur de sel and whisk to incorporate.

Set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into your favorite glass jar and let cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks. You’ll want to warm the sauce up before using.

On top of the crust layer sprinkle 3/4 cup of the salted caramel and 1 cup of chopped pecans. Refrigerate while preparing apples.

 

Apple layer

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 baking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced(I used Spitzenburg)

Melt the butter in a skillet, then add the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt, stirring to combine. Cook the mixture until it is gently bubbling, about 1 minute. Add the apples to the pan and toss to coat with the butter mixture. Cook until the apples are very tender and just about all of the liquid has been evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then add to the pan on top of the caramel-pecan layer, spreading the apples into an even layer. Return the pan to the refrigerator.

Cheesecake

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until completely smooth. Add the egg and beat until completely combined. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract, and beat until completely smooth, another 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the cheesecake batter over the apples in the pan, smoothing it into an even layer. Bake until the cheesecake is set and doesn't jiggle in the middle, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To serve:  top with whipped cream, additional pecans, and caramel sauce

 

 

Recipe courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker