November 15, 2009

Dutch Apple Turtle Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake in honor (or copy cat) of my favorite cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory.  It tasted very similar!  Not too hard to make, and so decadent - you won't believe it.
1.5 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

3.5 packages cream cheese, room temperature
a little less than 1 cup sugar
3.5 eggs, lightly beaten (yes, you'll have to only use half of one egg)
1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 cups peeled apples, diced (I used Granny Smith)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Caramel Sauce (see below)
chopped pecans or walnuts (optional - you decide how much you want)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. In a small bowl, combine the crackers, sugar, pecans and cinnamon; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a lightly greased 9-in. springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack (leave oven on).

3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in vanilla. Pour over crust. Toss apples with lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon; spoon over filling. Sprinkle with desired amount of pecans. Return pan to baking sheet.

4. Bake in preheated oven at 350 F for 55-60 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel topping. Cool for 1 hour. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

5. Remove sides of pan. Just before serving, drizzle with warmed caramel sauce. Store in refrigerator.
Caramel Sauce: (OR use a jar of store bought caramel sauce)

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup salted butter (if you don't use salted, add 1/4 tsp. salt)
1/4 cup heavy cream

1. To make the caramel sauce, whisk sugar and butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until it melts. Whisk in cream and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. It can be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.  I drizzled my sauce over the cheesecake while it was cooling.

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