Caramel Apple Cheesecake
For the Crust:
- 12 whole graham crackers
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the Cheesecake:
- 2 pounds full-fat cream cheese
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
For the Crumble:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
For the Apples:
- 3 apples (I like Granny Smith of Fuji), peeled, cored, and sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the Caramel:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- To make the crust, place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and grind to a fine crumb. If you don’t have a food processor you can crumble cookies in a zip lock bag with a rolling pin. Once you’ve created a fine crumb, add sugar, salt, and melted butter. Toss together, moistening all of the crumbs. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and press with fingers until the bottom is evenly coated with crust and it comes up the sides a bit.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you make the cheesecake filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Place a tea kettle of water on the stove top to boil. We’re going to add hot water to a rimmed sheet pan to place under the baking cheesecake.
- To make the cheesecake filling, in a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, granulated sugar, flour and salt using the Oster Hand Mixer with Heatsoft Technology. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until well incorporated. Add eggs and yolk, beating one at a time between each addition for about 1 minute. Continue to beat until the mixture is entirely smooth and silky.
- Cover the outside of the spring for pan in foil to keep any water from seeping into the cheesecake. Pour the cheesecake filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.
- Place the cheesecake in the center of a rimmed baking sheet. Place the sheet in the oven and gently pour in boiling water to almost fill the sheet pan. This is our shallow water bath.
- Bake cheesecake for 55 to 60 minutes. The cheesecake is done when the outer two to three inches look slightly puffed and set, but the inner circle still jiggles when you gently shake the pan. Some spots of toasted golden color are just fine.
- While the cake is baking, assemble the crumb topping. In a medium combine the flour, oats, walnuts, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the butter and cut in with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly and coarse crumbs form, about the size of peas. Spread the crumb topping onto the prepared baking sheet and give it a good shake to spread it out evenly. Bake on the rack above the cheesecake for about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through baking, or until it begins to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool down completely. Run your fingers through the topping to break up any large clumps. Set aside or wrap in an airtight bag for storage before topping the cake.
- You might also make the caramel while the cake is baking. To make the caramel, add sugar, water, and corn syrup to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring once or twice. Bring to a boil and allow to brown. Once sugar has browned to a medium amber color, remove from heat and immediately add heavy cream and butter. Mixture will boil and foam. Stir well. Add salt and stir well to incorporate. Caramel may seem thin -that’s ok. Place in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours until it’s pourable. If the caramel is too cold to be pourable after some time in the refrigerator, simple reheat very gently in a pan or in the microwave to your desired consistency.
- When the cheesecake is baked, turn the oven off and prop open the door with a kitchen towel to allow the cake to cool to room temperature. I find that cheesecake is best served after it’s rested a day in the refrigerator.
- Make the apples just before serving the cheesecake. To make the apples, place sliced apples, butter, and spices in a skillet. Cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and the apples are just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before topping cheesecake.
- To assemble the cheesecake, remove the foil and springform pan circle. Place cake on a serving platter. You may find it easier to pre-slice the cheesecake before topping it! Top with crumbled oat topping. Top the oat topping with apples. Top the apples with a generous drizzle of caramel. Enjoy while the cheesecake is chilled. Cheesecake can be stored, well wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.