Getting tired of the plethora of pumpkin? Time to show fall’s other bounty, the apple, a little love—especially during National Apple Month! Apples might not have been intended for our tables, but we’re sure glad we saved them a seat. More importantly, we’re happy to have a sweeter variety to help bring this this creamy dessert to life.
Cook’s Note: Make this recipe match the season by replacing the apples with an in-season fruit like strawberries, blueberries, or cranberries. Add your own special blend of spices to complement, or leave the spices out altogether. While spritzing your apples with lemon juice keeps them from browning, avoid it in this recipe! Any extra acid may keep your cream cheese from setting (yuck!). Don’t worry, the baking process will help keep your apples looking great!
- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 12 individually wrapped caramels
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- OR salted caramel sundae topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8 X 8-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust: graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter, and mix well with a fork.
Place crust mixture into prepared baking dish, pressing down gently with your fingers.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until soft and smooth, about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Pour over crust, spreading evenly.
In a medium bowl, combine ingredients for the apple layer: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix well.
Peel, core and dice the apple into small pieces. Add to dry ingredients and toss to coat.
Distribute evenly over the cheesecake layer in the baking dish.
In another medium bowl, combine ingredients for streusel topping: brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and melted butter. Mix welll until a coarse meal is formed. Sprinkle evenly over apple layer.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until streusel is golden.
Transfer baking dish to a wire rack to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for an hour or more to set.
For the caramel drizzle, in a microwavable bowl, melt the caramels on increments of 30 seconds, until smooth, stirring in between. Allow to cool slightly and stir in the heavy cream.
Drizzle with homemade caramel sauce or caramel sundae sauce topping before serving.