The best caramel cheesecake, topped with apple pie filling, whipped cream and caramel!
1 ½cupsgraham cracker crumbs, about 10 crackers
32ozcream cheese, softened
½cupwhite granulated sugar
13-ozcan dulce de leche
1cupwhole milk ricotta cheese
For Apple Pie Topping:
1cupwhite granulated sugar
For Whipped Cream:
1cupheavy cream, chilled
1/2cup‘Homemade Caramel Sauce’
For Caramel Cheesecake:
Preheat the oven to 325F. Wrap the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan tightly with 2 layers of foil; this will protect any water from seeping into the pan. Place the graham crackers into a food processor and pulse for about 1 minute until fine crumbs form. Add the melted butter and pulse again until the crumbs are well coated. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan, creating a firm and even layer; I like to use a potato masher for this step.
Next, prepare the cheesecake filling. Place the softened cream cheese into a stand mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed for 7 to 9 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl often, until the cream cheese is smooth, creamy and lump free. Next, add in the sugar, eggs and vanilla and beat again for 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl halfway through.
Next, add the dulce de leche and mix again for 1 minute. Finally, add the ricotta cheese and whisk for about 30 seconds, just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared pan. Prepare a water bath next: place the cheesecake pan into a large baking dish and add about 1-inch of water.
Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours, until the center is just about set but still slightly wobbly. After baking, turn the oven off and leave the oven door cracked open a few inches. Allow the cheesecake to cool for about 1 hour in the oven, then for a few hours at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator overnight.
For Apple Pie Filling:
For the apple pie topping: peel, core and dice the apples, then place into a large pot or sauté pan. Add the water, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often. The apples should be tender, and the liquids reduced. If there isn’t enough moisture, add more water as needed. Once done, remove the filling from heat and add the vanilla. Place the topping into a small bowl and keep refrigerated.
For Whipped Cream:
For the whipped cream: place the chilled heavy cream into a mixer bowl and add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. Whisk on medium to high speed for about 4 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Transfer into a pastry bag for garnishing.
To assemble the cheesecake, first pipe dollops of the whipped cream along the edges, then add the apple pie filling into the center. If desired, drizzle homemade caramel sauce over the top.