A lightly spiced cheesecake topped with sauted apples, brown sugar streusal topping and caramel sauce. Oh and in a gingerbread crust!
This might be the best cheesecake I have ever made. I think someone said that. I'm proud of this one.
This Caramel Apple Pie Cheesecake is a creamy, lightly spiced cheesecake baked in a gingered graham cracker crust, covered in sautéed cinnamon apples, topped with crunchy streusel topping,... and then drizzled with caramel sauce. This is the bomb of calorie bombs!
I made this for our Canadian Thanksgiving this year. And for those of you who have not celebrated Thanksgiving yet... my American friends... add this to your menu. And if you have celebrated Thanksgiving already, add this to Sunday's menu. Because it is apple season and if you have apples you will want to make this cake.
For the crust, make sure you press the crumb mixture up the sides of the pan.
This is a dense cheesecake and I did go the extra effort and baked the cake in a water bath. Although I didn't really care if the cake cracked -- the top was going to be covered in apples and crispy streusel and caramel, anyways... but still it is a dense one and the water bath seems to help cook it cake more gently. See this post for far better instructions on how to use the water-bath method.
Your best game plan for this style of cake is make the cake and toppings the day before and assemble before serving. The cake will sit "dressed" for an hour or so, so it is a task that can be done before your guest arrive or just before dinner. I suggest you re-warm the apples before piling on top of the cake just to take the chill out. You do not want cold apples when you serve the cake.
The streusel topping can be made at any time. I made it after the cake came out of the oven. Watch it carefully, it will burn quickly. I found that it goes from perfect to burnt in less than 2 minutes. It will also crisp up as it cools. So if you think it is a little chewy - but not yet burnt - that is likely the best time to take it out of the oven.
Just look at this gorgeousness....
How to make Caramel Apple Pie Cheesecake
This is a labour of love, there are a few steps here
- Make the crust
- Make the cheesecake - I use my usual cheesecake method, creaming the cheese and sugar together. Beating the eggs in one at a time.
- Bake the cake -- I used a water bath for this cake, to make sure it does not crack and bakes evenly.
- Make the streusel topping, oats and brown sugar.
- Apple topping, sauted apples in butter and sugar. And caramel sauce. I just used store bought, it's delicious and saves a few steps.
Caramel Apple Pie Cheesecake
- 400 g graham cracker crumbs 1 box
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 5 8- ounce packages cream cheese
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 vanilla beans scraped
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice approximately juice from half a lemon
- ¾ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup rolled oats
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter melted
Apple Pie Topping:
- 3 apples
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp lemon juice approx the juice of ½ a lemon
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 cup butterscotch or caramel sauce I used Hersey's TopScotch
For the Crust:
- Preheat your oven to 425 F.
- Mix the crust ingredients* and press into a 9" spring-form pan, going up the sides. Wrap the outside of the pan with aluminum foil. Set crust aside while you make the filling. (You will want an oven-safe baking dish that will hold the spring-form pan and deep enough to hold about an inch of water).
For the cheesecake:
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sugar, ginger, flour and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. Pausing the mixture and scraping the sides at least once. Then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl. With the mixer still running slowly add the lemon juice and mix until smooth.
- Pour the filling into the prepared crust and place into a water bath. (Place cake pan (which you already covered with aluminum foil) into the bottom of a deep baking dish. Then pour boiling water into the larger pan so that it reaches about half up the cake pan. Then place the whole thing into the oven).
- Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake an additional 50-60 minutes or until the cheesecake is set on top but still jiggles slightly. Don't over bake.
- Turn off the oven, crack the door open and let the cheesecake sit and come to room temperature for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and the water bath and place cake a wire rack to cool 30. The cake can then be placed in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Make ahead: Leave the cake in its spring form pan until you are ready to serve it. It keeps nicely in the refrigerator for up to two days covered with plastic wrap.
For the Apple Pie Topping.
- Peal and slice the apples and toss with the sugar, lemon juice, and spices.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the apples. Stir occasionally until apples are tender. Set aside until ready for topping the cheese cake. Make ahead: Allow to cool slightly then place in a microwave safe container with a cover and refrigerator for up to a day ahead.
For the streusel topping:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix all streusel ingredients in a bowl and arrange in a thin layer on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake 20-25 minutes until crunchy, stirring and checking frequently. This stuff goes from ready to burnt in less than a minute. So watch it carefully. Make ahead: Allow to cook completely then place in an air tight container and set aside until ready to serve the cheesecake.
To assemble the cake:
- Remove spring from around the cake and place cake on a serving platter (leaving bottom of spring form pan under the cake).
- Warm apple topping a minute or two in the microwave if needed. Just enough so the apples are warm, not cold, and the sauce loosens. Mound the apples in the middle of the cake. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples. Drizzle the whole cake with caramel sauce. Sever with whipped cream if desired.