Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

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 overbeat.) 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

No Bake Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake

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Cheesecake is something I hated as a kid. Now, as an adult, I can’t get enough of it! I would make it more often if my husband liked it. I can’t quite justify making a cheesecake, just to be stuck eating the whole thing by myself. Although, I should probably be happy about that?

I have had this recipe bookmarked for a really long time, but for some reason, never got around to making it. So, last week when I was menu planning, I made sure to put the needed ingredients on the shopping list. Pregnancy craving made me feel better about making it. And the fact that my sister was up using the internet for work. So I couldn’t resist sharing them with her.

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I am serious when I say that you should go make these right now. They are incredibly easy and incredibly delicious. Creamy, fresh and addicting. Perfect for summer! You could definitely make these in jars with a lid and take them on a picnic or to the beach for a little treat. I had some in the refrigerator for three days and they still tasted amazing. The graham crackers didn’t get soggy either. Perfect! This would be a wonderful addition to any BBQ this summer. Or maybe just a little treat for yourself?

No Bake Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake

Yield: 5-6 servings

For the crust

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, slightly mashed with a fork

Directions

In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and 1 tablespoon of sugar and melted butter. Evenly divide the crumbs between your individual serving dishes and press into the bottoms of the dishes to form a crust layer.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and lemon zest until the sugar becomes moist and fragrant. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add lemon juice and vanilla mixing to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until well blended, then fold in the raspberries.

Evenly pipe or spoon the filling into individual serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. If desired, garnish with fresh raspberries and a sprig of fresh mint.

*Note: If you want to make this into a pie, just pour filling into a 9-inch graham cracker crust and refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

Source: My Baking Addiction

Mini Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecakes

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I promise that I only have one more peppermint recipe to share with you. I don’t know about you, but I still have a whole jar full of candy canes left that I need to figure out what to do with. This recipe I was pretty excited to make because I don’t usually make cheesecake since it’s not a popular dessert in my house. This christmas, my family did something a little different than usual. We decided to draw names out of a hat instead of everyone getting gifts for everyone. It saves a lot of money and time! This year I got one of my brother-in-law’s. I still made a bunch of goodies for everyone, but I made something extra special for him. So, I picked my sister’s brain on what to make for him. Cheesecake and chocolate where near the top. I had this recipe bookmarked for a while and I thought it would be perfect.

Boy was I right.

I had extra filling, so I made a ramekin for myself. Oh my word. It was creamy, pepperminty and addictive. I had to really restrain myself from eating the entire thing in one sitting. Just don’t do what I did and get distracted while the ganache is chilling and let it get too hard. I totally messed up on that part by trying to warm it up a little to pipe then warmed it up too much! I was quickly running out of time so I just had to make do with it. It didn’t change the taste any, just made it a little less pretty.

Mini Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecakes

For the crust

  • 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (I used Oreos with the filling)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

For the cheesecake

  • 12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pink food coloring (optional)
  • 25 white chocolate candy cane kisses, chopped

For the topping

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Coarsely crushed candy canes, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line a 24 mini muffin pan with liners.  To make the crust, combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a small bowl.  Mix with a fork until evenly blended.  Divide the crust mixture between the wells of the prepared pan, about 2-3 teaspoons in each.  Press the crumb mixture into a flat layer on the bottom of the well.  (The bottom of a shot glass is great for this.)  Bake for 10 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300˚ F.  To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and sour cream in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well blended.  Add in the sugar and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the egg, peppermint extract and salt.  If desired, tint the batter light pink with food coloring.  Continue to beat until the mixture is completely smooth.  Fold in the candy cane kisses with a spatula.
Divide the mixture evenly over the cookie crumb crusts and smooth the tops slightly.  Bake just until set, about 22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan to room temperature.  Once completely cool, transfer the pan to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly before removing the cheesecakes, at least 3 hours.

Once the cheesecakes are well chilled, carefully remove them from the pan.  To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat.  Once simmering, remove from the heat and immediately pour over the chocolate.  Let stand 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in small circular motions until a smooth ganache has formed.

Whisk in the butter until completely incorporated.  Let the mixture stand at room temperature until slightly thickened for piping onto the cheesecakes.  (Speed this process in the refrigerator or freezer, but be sure to whisk every 5 minutes or so.)  Once the ganache has thickened, transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe onto the cheesecakes.  Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Refrigerate until the ganache is set.

Source: Annie’s Eats