I made this for Thanksgiving this year. I was nervous since it was the first cheesecake I've ever made. I followed one reviewer's advice and baked it for 40 minutes without the apples, then layered them on and continued to bake for another 15 at which point I didn't think it was quite done yet so I added another 10 minutes. Everyone thought it was wonderful! My only complaint is that I think my apples released too much water when I cooked them in the butter because they didn't really ever caramelize. Modifications: dark brown sugar and 1/3 less fat cream cheese.
Caramelized apples are artfully arranged on top of this rich and delicious cheesecake for a perfect fall dessert.
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Total: 12 Hours, 5 Minutes
- 2 3/4 pounds large Granny Smith apples (about 6 apples)
- 1 2/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (about 15 whole crackers)
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup apple jelly
- Sweetened whipped cream
- 1. Peel apples, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Toss together apples and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add apple mixture, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp-tender and golden. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).
- 2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350º. Stir together cinnamon graham cracker crumbs and next 2 ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack, and cool crust completely before filling (about 30 minutes).
- 3. Beat cream cheese, vanilla, and remaining 1 1/3 cups brown sugar at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into prepared crust. Arrange apples over cream cheese mixture.
- 4. Bake at 350º for 55 minutes to 1 hour and 5 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 on a wire rack (about 2 hours). Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.
- 5. Cook apple jelly and 1 tsp. water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until jelly is melted; brush over apples on top of cheesecake. Serve with whipped cream.
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