Apple-Topped Cheesecake with Caramel Topping

Ingredients

Crust
  • 1 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
Filling
  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
Topping
  • 2 large tart apples, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup caramel topping

Instructions

1 _ Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan with shortening or cooking spray.

2 _ In medium bowl, mix flour, pecans, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Cut in butter, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until blended. Press dough on bottom and 1/2 inch up side of pan. Bake 12 minutes or until set. Cool 15 minutes.

3 _ In medium bowl, beat all filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth; spread filling over cooled crust. In another bowl, toss apples with 1/4 cup sugar, the cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Arrange apples in circular design over filling. Brush apples with 2 tablespoons of the caramel topping.


4 _ Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Bake 1 hour longer. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack, about 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

5 _ Just before serving, run small metal spatula around edge of pan; carefully remove side of pan. Drizzle each piece of cheesecake with 1 tablespoon remaining caramel topping. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cheesecake.

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