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Caramel Apple-Brownie Cheesecake

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett
Hands-on time 30 mins
Total time 4 hrs
Yield Makes 12 servings
Combine two of fall's favorite flavors—caramel and apples—in this decadent cheesecake. The crust is an apple brownie, similar to a blonde brownie, but with the addition of chopped apple. Then the creamy cheesecake filling is topped wtih a caramel-apple topping and a rich caramel sauce.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 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
  • Caramel Apple Topping
  • Caramel Sauce

How to Make It

  1. 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.

  2. Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

  3. Whisk together brown sugar, melted butter, and remaining egg in a large bowl until blended.

  4. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add to brown sugar mixture, and stir until blended. Stir in apples. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Carefully spoon cream cheese mixture over batter.

  5. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until set. 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.

  6. Meanwhile, prepare Caramel Apple Topping and Caramel Sauce. Reserve 1 cup Caramel Sauce for another use. Spoon topping over cheesecake; drizzle with 1/2 cup Caramel Sauce.