A scrumptious Caramel Apple-Brownie Cheesecake with a apple-brownie bottom and a caramel apple topping. It is simply to die for!
My favorite season is knocking at the door. That’s right, fall is almost here… And I am counting the days. Over these last ten years living in the United States, I have come to truly appreciate the delights of this season, as the region where I grew up in Brazil only has two: the dry season and the rainy season. This Caramel Apple-Brownie Cheesecake is a fave!
My birthday is also just around the corner: I’m going to be turning 39 AGAIN!!! :):):)
So I decided to make one of my favorite desserts to celebrate both occasions: a cheesecake. Nothing reminds me more of fall here than ripe apples — except for sweet potatoes and pumpkins, of course.
Again, I used a recipe that I saw in the September 2012 edition of Southern Living magazine: the infamous Caramel Apple-Brownie Cheesecake. The picture filled my eyes with such greed that the image has remained in my mind for an entire week. Since my yearning to have a slice (ok, the whole thing if I could) has not gone away, I decided that this would be the perfect occasion to make it… Yes, it will be a present to myself, which I will gladly share with those that I love: my family and my dear readers.
My version presents a few subtle modifications though — more in the directions than in the ingredients.
I hope you enjoy this fall wonder as much as I did… I am telling you this with a HUGE smile on my face… What a present!!!
Enjoy our Caramel Apple-Brownie Cheesecake!
Caramel Apple-Brownie Cheesecake
- For the cheesecake:
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 2 pacakages cream cheese softened, 8-oz. or 227 grs.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs divided and at room temperature
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups baking apples peeled and diced**, e.g. Granny Smith or Cortland
- ** Baking Apples are apples that have a good sweet-tart balance and hold their shape when cooked.
- For the Caramel Apple Topping
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 5 large Granny Smith apples peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick ( about 1.25 cm) wedges
- For the Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F (180° C). Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan for about 7-8 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven, let cool down, and chop. Reserve.
Reduce oven temperature to 325°F (about 160° C). Grease and flour a 9-inch (22.5 cm) springform pan. Sprinkle pecans over bottom of the prepared pan and reserve.
In a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla at medium speed until well-blended and smooth. Add 3 eggs (1 at a time), beating after each addition until just blended. Reserve.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, melted butter, and remaining egg until blended. Then stir in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Add the peeled and diced apples to the mixture and stir gently. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Carefully spoon cream cheese mixture over batter.
Bake at 325°F ( about 160° C) for 70 minutes or until set. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan but do NOT remove sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack for about 2 hours. Remove side of the pan and transfer to a serving plate.
Meanwhile, prepare Caramel Apple Topping and Caramel Sauce. Spoon topping over cheesecake; drizzle with 1/2 cup Caramel Sauce. Reserve 1 cup Caramel Sauce to drizzle over the cheesecake later if you have not served the whole dessert at once. 🙂
To prepare the topping: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter; then, add both the sugar and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon, for 5 to 6 minutes or until mixture turns a light golden brown. Add the apple wedges and cook, stirring often, for 15 to 18 additional minutes or until apples are tender and caramelized. Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes.
Prepare the caramel sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the brown sugar, butter, whipping cream, and honey to a boil, stirring constantly; then, boil -- stirring constantly-- for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, and cool 15 minutes before serving.
** Store any leftovers in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week. To reheat, microwave at HIGH 10 to 15 seconds or just until warm; stir until smooth.