This is my new go-to recipe for a dessert that needs to impress. It’s thick, crunchy crust prevents it from being as rich and heavy as some cheesecakes can be, and the salted caramel gives it a great salty sweetness. Plus salted caramel is crazy trendy in the food world right now and showing up to a holiday party with this cheesecake will give you instant foodie street cred!
This recipe has several (very easy) steps and is broken out by each component in the order that I make them in. For the first time you make it, you may want to do each piece separately and then assembly the cheesecake, however it’s pretty easy to do the first three at the same time.
- Parchment paper
- 1 ½ bags of Effie’s Homemade Pecan cookies
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9 inch springform pan on the bottom with parchment paper for easy removal for serving later. Place the cookies in food processor and process until finely chopped, about 20 seconds. Mix the cookie crumbs with the melted butter. Turn mixture into the prepped 9 inch springform pan and press evenly against bottom and sides to form a thick crust. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. (Leave oven on.)
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon gray sea salt or other large flake sea salt
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Transfer the caramel to a dish and cool.
*Note: Keep any leftover salted caramel sauce in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks to use on ice cream or waffles. Reheat before serving.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 Granny Smith apple, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 Fuji or Gala apple, seeded and thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
Heat a saute pan over medium heat; add the butter and melt. Add the apples, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized and soft. Add apple juice, sugar and vanilla bean and cook until slightly thickened and reduced. Let the mixture cool slightly.
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 8 ounce container of sour cream
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean, spilt and insides scraped
- 2 eggs
In large bowl, beat cream cheese with the insides of the vanilla bean, white and brown sugar until soft and well blended. Stir in sour cream and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in eggs, one at a time.
Add a layer of caramel to the top of the crust. Add the layer of apple mixture; top with more caramel. Pour in the cheesecake filling mixture. Bake in middle of oven for 45 minutes, until filling is set. Let cool on rack. Let set in the fridge for 4 hours to set the cheesecake and make it easier to cut (a sharp knife run under hot water will help to cut it cleanly as well). Top with caramel for serving.