Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

img_5116.jpg

Has anyone else been getting winter-like weather? We got hit with a big storm this past weekend, knocking out power to 150,000 people in downeast Maine. We lost power for two days, while some friends that live elsewhere on the island lost it for 5+ days! We got 6-8 inches of snow and 50 mph winds. Trees and power lines were (and still are) down everywhere. Many roads were impassable. Pretty crazy for our first winter storm. And now it's 50 degrees out and most of the snow is already gone. Weird weather! The storm made us all sort of rush into winter mode. We hurried to get all the lawn furniture in the barn for the winter, drain all the hoses and drain the pipes to the outdoor shower. And now all we have left is to get our winters supply of wood loaded onto the covered porch. Whew, I am going to need a slice of this pie when I am done with all of that!

Speaking of this pie... It is beyond amazing. Seriously.

Some weeks back, my brother's girlfriend and her parents were visiting and decided to host a Canadian Thanksgiving for my whole family. Super cute. I, of course, offered to bring a dessert. This pie came in mind immediately. I made it a few years back for Thanksgiving at my parent's house, but haven't had the opportunity to make it again. This pie is epic. Let me layer it for you. First, there is a graham cracker crust, then a delicious layer of caramel sauce (homemade of course), a sprinkling of pecans, a thick layer of sweet, sautéed apples, a layer of cheesecake filling which is then baked to perfection. Then, because all that isn't enough, dollops of sweetened whipped cream are spread over the cheesecake, then caramel is swirled in with another sprinkling of pecans. Epic. Enough said.


Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

Yield: 1 9-inch pie crust

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 1/3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 1/2-3/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5-6 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large egg

For the topping

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3-4 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup caramel sauce
  • Additional chopped pecans, for garnish

Directions

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 375° F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Toss with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened and the ingredients are evenly mixed. Transfer the mixture to the prepared springform pan and press the crumbs in an even layer over the pan bottom and about half to two-thirds of the way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until golden in color. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Pour a layer of caramel into the bottom of the crust and sprinkle evenly with the chopped pecans. Refrigerate the crust while you prepare the filling.

To make the apple filling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute, until bubbling. Mix in the apple slices and toss well to coat. Cook over medium to medium-high heat until tender and most of the liquid has been reduced, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and pour into the prepared pie shell. Set aside.

Reduce the heat of the oven to 350° F. To make the cheesecake layer, combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Mix in the vanilla, egg and lemon juice until fully incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Spread the cheesecake filling into an even layer over the top of the cooked apples in the crust. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

To serve, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (being careful not to over beat.) Spread gently over the top of the chilled cheesecake layer. Top with dollops of caramel sauce and swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with a handful of chopped pecans if desired. Slice with a long, thin knife to serve.

Source: Annie's Eats, originally from Mimi Hodges, the winner of Good Morning, America’s “Pie of Emeril’s Eye” Contest, 2000