An alternative to the Thanksgiving pies, this caramel apple and pecan cheesecake is luxuriously creamy, not too sweet, and has all of the luscious Fall flavors.
For the crust:
- 2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 10 tablespoons butter, melted
For the cheesecake filling:
- 24 ounces (3-eight ounce bricks) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¾ cup good quality salted caramel sauce (I used Ghiradelli’s)
- ¾ cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
For the topping:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- ½ cup whole pecan halves
- ½ cup salted caramel sauce
Make the graham cracker crust.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil so that the bottom and sides are completely covered and watertight.
Spray the inside of the springform pan lightly with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and butter until the mixture resembles wet sand.
Pour the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Use the back of a spoon to spread the crumbs evenly over the bottom.
Press the crumbs firmly over the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until lightly golden and fragrant.
Remove from the oven and set aside. Keep the pan wrapped in the foil.
Make the cheesecake filling.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar on high speed until smooth and creamy.
Add the caramel sauce and cornstarch. Beat until smooth and well-mixed.
Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, mixing until just combined.
Place the cheesecake pan with the foil in the middle of a large roasting pan.
Pour the cheesecake batter over the crust and smooth out the top.
Pour enough water into the bottom of the roasting pan so that it reaches a 1-inch depth.
Carefully place the roasting pan and cheesecake into the oven.
Bake for 50-75 minutes or until the top looks set, but the middle still jiggles like jello.
Turn off the oven and place a towel to prevent the oven from closing completely.
Allow the cake to cook in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove it from the oven and take the springform pan out of the water bath.
Allow the cheesecake to cool completely.
Wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
Make the topping.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the apple slices and pecan halves.
Saute the apples and pecans over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the apple slices are tender and some of their juices have been released – about 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the caramel sauce and toss until well-mixed.
Cook, stirring constantly, for another minute or until the sauce is hot. Remove from the heat and allow to come to room temperature.
Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator.
Carefully run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake and the pan before unclamping the outer ring of the springform pan.
Spoon the apple-pecan caramel sauce over the top of the cheesecake.
Use a sharp knife to slice the cake into slices, being sure to slice through the crust as well.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 90 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: caramel apple and pecan cheesecake, Thanksgiving desserts, cheesecake recipes, salted caramel, homemade cheesecake, homemade cheesecake recipes