Caramel Apple Cheesecake
It’s apple picking season!
As soon as fall arrives, apple picking is a must do activity for both families and schools. Not only is the weather great as the seasons change but picking apples is a great way to unplug from technology and spend time with special friends and family. Apple cider, pie and sauce are just a few things you can make with you crisp, juicy apples, but why stop there? Carve out some extra time with friends and family and try out this caramel apple cheesecake with streusel topping that’ll make you want to fill up two bags of apples at the orchard instead of one.
Now put those fresh picks to good use
I’ve always thought of cheesecake as a great dessert to gain confidence as a baker. When it comes to cake, I go to my personal hybrid recipes because they are reliable and easy to adapt but when it comes to cheesecake, no questions asked—scratch is the best.
Similarly to my cake recipes, this cheesecake recipe is easy to adapt to different flavors. With it being apple picking season, dressing up your cheesecake with fresh apples, streusel and caramel… cheesecake heaven!
This Caramel Apple Cheesecake is:
The perfect symphony of cheesecake + caramel and apples with A buttery, delightful streutrsel topping
Bursting with apples
Sweet and creamy taste
Rich and buttery
Soft not spongy
Tips for the best cheesecake:
1 The best cheesecake starts with a perfect crust. The graham cracker crust must be crisp, buttery and sweet. I like to add french vanilla flavoring into my crust for a unique sweetness but it is completely optional. Pre bake your crust to makes sure that it stays crisp.
2: Start with room temperature ingredients, this will help you to avoid lumps. Lumps can be tricky to manage so in this case, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure.
3: To limit cracks in your cheesecake, USE A WATER BATH! A water bath generates steam, and the steam will prevent the cheesecake from drying out. Triple wrap your cheesecake pan all the way up the sides with heavy duty foil. MAKE SURE THE PAN IS COMPLETELY COVERED. IF THERE ARE ANY OPENINGS, WATER COULD SEEP IN AND YOU COULD HAVE A SOGGY CHEESECAKE.
4: Do your very best to avoid opening your oven while baking! Changes in temperature during baking can cause the cheesecake to crack or sink in the middle. Don’t poke anything into the center of a cheesecake to see if it’s done. Instead, just give it a jiggle. If it’s firm at the edges and still wobbles a little in the center, it’s done.
If you don’t have free time on your hands to bake a cheesecake, don’t worry, there is always an alternative! You can make this recipe in no time by substituting a no bake cheesecake. Continue by following the instructions for the apple preparation streusel topping and caramel in the recipe below.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake
with Streusel topping
Digital scale and measuring cups
(1) Spring-form pan
Stand mixer or hand mixer fitted with paddle attachment
Roasting pan ( for water bath)
Pastry blender or forks
Parchment paper or silicone mat
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
pinch of nutmeg
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup softened butter
3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup caramel topping
Graham Cracker Crust
2.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
6 ounces melted butter
Non stick baking spray ( I prefer Baker’s Joy)
1 ounce French Vanilla syrup
(4) 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
3 Tablespoons flour
12 ounces (1.5 c) granulated sugar
5 large eggs
8 ounces sour cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Before you get in the groove and making this super delicious cheesecake, take some time to get yourself organized. I have found it helpful to make bake this cheesecake in steps. If you have a packed schedule you might consider spreading out the steps over a couple of days. Because the caramel used in this recipe is already prepared, that is one thing you needn’t be concerned with, however, the streusel topping can be prepared up to 5 days in advance and stored refrigerated in an airtight container.
For Struesel Topping Preheat your oven to 350F and prepare a large cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone mat. In a mixing bowl, add oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and softened butter. Using pastry blender or two forks, mix until crumbly. Spread mixture onto cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stir then bake another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Place in airtight container for later use.
For Apple Topping Wash apples, peel and cube. Add cubed apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into pot and place on oven range. Simmer on low, occasionally stirring with a rubber spatula until apple mixture becomes soft ( about 10 minutes) Place cooked apples in airtight dish and refrigerate until time to use. Apples can be stored 5 days under refrigeration
For Graham Cracker Crust Adjust oven temperature to 325 F and spray spring form pan with non stick spray, set aside until ready to use. In microwavable dish, melt butter. Measure out graham crackers and crush. In a small kitchen bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter and french vanilla syrup (optional) until moist and mold-able. Firmly press graham cracker mixture into pan
Place pan in oven on top shelf and bake crust for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. When pan is fully cooled, wrap pan twice with aluminum foil so it is prepared for cooking in water bath.
For Cheesecake Filling Cream sugar, flour and cream cheese in mixer on medium until light and fluffy. One at a time, add in each egg until fully incorporated. On low, add sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla until well combined.
Pour cheesecake mixture into baked crust.
Place spring form pan into roasting pan and pour water into roasting pan to cover the bottom, it doesn’t need to be high. Place roasting pan in oven and bake for an hour at 325 F. Remove cheesecake from the oven before the center looks fully done. Cheesecake should be slightly wobbly. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes before wrapping and refrigerating to avoid condensation.
Garnishing Cheesecake Remove cheesecake from refrigerator and warm caramel in a microwavable dish. Drizzle caramel on cheesecake, top with apple topping and streusel.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake can enjoyed for up to 3 days although it might not last that long due to its delicious nature!