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.
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.
Whisk together brown sugar, melted butter, and remaining egg in a large bowl until blended.
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.
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.
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.
This dessert is unbelievably delicious. The apple brownie with cheesecake on top plus the addition of apples with carmel sauce is a perfect combination. My family and friends were very impressed when I served this for dessert.
I prefer a graham cracker crust and would substitute that the next time I make this. There is definitely enough sweetness with the apple topping and caramel sauce that you wouldn't notice its absence. I baked mine using the water bath method. Wrap pan in 2 layers of alum. foil, place in large roasting pan and add enough boiling water to come 1/2 up the side of the spingform pan. Bake 1 hour, turn off oven then leave in oven for 1 hr with door closed. I've not had a cheesecake fall in the center yet with this method.
This recipe does not have a chocolate brownie crust. Rather the crust is an apple brownie - sort of like a blonde brownie but with chopped apple. the step for making the brownie is when you combine the brown sugar, melted butter, and remaining egg, then add the flour and next 3 ingredients.
All of the ingredients and the recipe are there. You make the brownie batter separate from the cheesecake, and pour the brownie in first over the pecans. Then pour the cheesecake on that and bake. I've made four of them following the directions to the T and they have all been amazing. Enjoy.