Saturday, October 10, 2015

Fall is undoubtedly my favorite time of the year, mostly because of the flavors. When it comes to apple desserts, I always fall somewhere in the middle between pie and cheesecake. Homemade pie crust will forever be my downfall, so cheesecake wins.
This is a cheesecake-lover's dream. It's piled high with crispy apples and pecans and filled with a creamy vanilla center - not to mention that it is so simple to prepare. There is quite a bit of inactive baking time, so from start to finish plan on setting aside at least three hours - but the reward is definitely worth the wait. Only requiring about thirty minutes of actual labor, this cake is perfect for a rainy day that leaves you cooped inside the house.
My favorite part about this dessert is that it will keep for several days in the fridge. It's the perfect make-ahead dish for any dinner party or gathering. I promise this will appeal to any crowd and leave all your friends begging for the recipe. My friend has deemed this the best cheesecake she has EVER had (and she's from New York, so that says something)... So there you have it!
Apple Cheesecake:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
3 tbsp. butter, melted
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups apples, peeled & thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, 3 tbsp. sugar, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, and butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie dish (that's right, pie dish!). Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

2. Beat together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl or electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla and blend. Pour into crust.

3. Toss apples with 1/3 cup sugar and the remaining 3/4 tsp. cinnamon. Spoon over cream cheese mixture and sprinkle with pecans. Bake for 70 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 hour before refrigerating overnight. Do not remove from pie dish.

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