Caramel-Apple Cheesecake


Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

Ingredients:

  • Crust:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 cookie sheets)
  • 1 tablespoon egg white 
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Cooking spray 
  • Cheesecake:
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar 
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream 
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened 
  • (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • large eggs 
  • Topping:
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half 
  • 1 3/4 cups thinly sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces) 
  • Dash of nutmeg

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. 2. To prepare crust, combine the first 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss with a fork until moist. Press mixture lightly into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 6 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack. Wrap outside of pan with a double layer of foil. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
  3. 3. To prepare cheesecake, place 1 3/4 cups sugar and next 7 ingredients (through fat-free cream cheese) in food processor; process until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time; process until blended. Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan. Place springform pan in a large roasting pan; add hot water to larger pan to a depth of 1 inch.
  4. 4. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove from oven; let stand in water bath 10 minutes. Run a knife around outside edge of cheesecake. Remove pan from water bath; cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
  5. 5. To prepare topping, combine 1/3 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons water, and lemon juice in a small, heavy saucepan; cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Cook 4 minutes or until golden (do not stir). Remove from heat. Add butter to pan; gently stir until butter melts. Stir in half-and-half. Cool slightly.
  6. 6. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add apple to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in sugar mixture and nutmeg. Serve topping with cheesecake.
Note:
Granny Smith apples lend a pleasant tartness, but you can substitute Rome, Braeburn, or your favorite apple variety. Make this cake the night before your gathering.