MAKE THE CRUST
Either in a food processor or ziploc bag, pulse or crush the graham crackers until fine crumbs are formed. Add graham cracker crumbs to a large mixing bowl. Add the 1 cup of sugar and 12 tablespoons of melted butter. Stir until crumbs are moist.
Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Press the graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan and up the sides two-thirds of the way to the top. Place pan in the fridge.
MAKE THE APPLES
In a medium saucepan, combine the 6 tablespoons butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir over medium heat until the butter is melted, stirring constantly. Add the apples and cook for 10 minutes, or until apples begin to get soft. Remove pan from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
PREPARE THE CHEESECAKE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the pan from the fridge and pour half of the apples evenly over the crust. Drizzle half of the caramel sauce over the top and sprinkle with sea salt. Place the springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, Add the cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar to a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer). Using whisk attachments, beat on medium speed for 30 seconds, or until free of lumps. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Pour the cheese mixture over the top of the baked apple crust and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes, or until the center of the cheesecake is thoroughly cooked (the entire cheesecake will jiggle uniformly when done). Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Let the cream cheese come to room temperature before using it. It'll be easier to beat into a creamy texture for your cake, you'll avoid a lumpy mixture and it'll mix with other ingredients better.
- Skip the low fat cheese and go for full fat. This keeps your cheesecake creamy. None of the low-fat fillers would be ideal for this dessert.
- If you can’t find salted caramel sauce, regular caramel ice cream topping is a great replacement (with a touch of extra sea salt). Or make your own homemade salted caramel sauce.
- I love the added cinnamon in the crust when using the cinnamon-flavored graham crackers, but you can also use regular graham crackers and add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the mixture.
- Add a splash of apple cider to the apple filling mixture for an extra dose of apple flavor.
- Refrigerate until right before slicing and serving!
- Sprinkle toasted chopped pecans over the top for an added crunch!
Calories: 595kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 1061mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 1150IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 1mg
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