Join Login Search
For Electric Cooperative Members
For Electric Cooperative Members

$500 Winner: Sweet Category

Marian Evoniuk | Pedernales EC

Don’t be daunted by this recipe—the steps come together quickly, and the results are well worth the effort to create a truly special holiday dessert. It’s important to make the Quick Caramel Sauce a day in advance so it has time to thicken in the refrigerator overnight (the thicker sauce makes the cheesecake easier to assemble). Note that after assembling, the cheesecake needs to chill for at least 8 hours or overnight, so plan to prepare the day before your family feast.

Quick Caramel Sauce

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Snickerdoodle Crust

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

Pecan Layer

1 1/2 cups Texas pecans
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Apple Layer

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons water 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup Quick Caramel Sauce

Caramel Cheesecake Layer and Topping

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
5 tablespoons powdered sugar, divided use
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons Quick Caramel Sauce, divided use

1. Quick Caramel Sauce: The day before you plan to bake, combine cream, light and dark brown sugars, and salt in a small saucepan, stir to combine, and bring to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue boiling another 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally and being careful that the mixture doesn’t boil over. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Transfer to a heat-proof glass container, cool uncovered, then refrigerate overnight to thicken.

2. Snickerdoodle Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add vanilla and cut in butter by hand until mixture comes together to form a soft dough. (Alternately, mix dry ingredients together in a food processor and pulse in butter and vanilla.) Pat dough into a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan and bake 20–25 minutes, until edges are a light golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

3. Pecan Layer: Place pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast 4–6 minutes at 350 degrees until lightly browned, stirring once. Cool slightly. In a food processor, process pecans 20–30 seconds, until finely ground. Reserve 1 tablespoon for topping.

4. In a medium saucepan, combine remaining pecans, honey, cream and salt. Stirring constantly over medium-low heat, cook until mixture is hot but not boiling (about 1–2 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spread over crust.

5. Apple Layer: Place apples in a 10-inch nonstick skillet with brown sugar, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon and water. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until apples are tender, about 20 minutes. Add 1–2 additional tablespoons water if necessary to prevent scorching.

6. In a small bowl or cup, whisk cornstarch with 1/4 cup Quick Caramel Sauce until smooth. Remove apples from heat, add caramel-cornstarch mixture and mix well. Return to heat and cook another 2–3 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Remove from heat and spread over pecan layer; cool completely.

7. Caramel Cheesecake Layer and Topping: With a hand mixer, whip cream, 3 tablespoons powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form; set aside. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, remaining powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons Quick Caramel Sauce until light and fluffy, about 1–2 minutes. Spread over cooled apple layer.

8. Drizzle 2 tablespoons Quick Caramel Sauce over cheesecake layer. With the tip of a paring knife, pull lines out from the center to create a marbled effect. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with reserved chopped pecans.

9. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. Before serving, drizzle pie with 1 tablespoon Quick Caramel Sauce and serve with additional drizzles on serving plates. Serves 12.

Cook’s Tip

Although it won’t be as tasty, store-bought caramel sauce can be used to save time.

Correction: December 19, 2016
The introduction to this recipe was corrected to indicate that the cheesecake must be chilled for 8 hours or overnight after assembling, not after baking. This cheesecake does not get baked.