This Caramel Apple Cheesecake is loaded with apple flavor, and it’s baked in a gingersnap crust. It’s everything you love about the Fall…just in cheesecake form!
Every area of the country has it’s own specialty when it comes to local fruit and veggies. California has avocados and limes. Florida has oranges. Louisiana has some of the best strawberries I’ve ever tasted, and my love for South Carolina peaches is not very secret. I’m pretty sure I could build a treehouse in a peach tree in South Carolina and live in it. So what does upstate New York have? Apples! Tons and tons of delicious apples. I know it’s a bit New England cliche, but we go apple picking every Fall. In fact, we go several times and then eat apples for months.
Until we moved up here, I was really only familiar with a couple of varieties of apples. Of course there were Red Delicious and Granny Smith, and I think I might have heard of Gala and McIntosh, too. So you can imagine my surprise when I came across like 25+ varieties on our first trip to the orchard. I’m pretty sure we took a bite of every kind, too! (The orchard encouraged us to sample the different varieties.) My favorite? Honeycrisp. Hands down. No questions asked. I think we buy probably 50 pounds of Honeycrisp every Fall. Not lying. (Honeycrisps are my favorite for eating, but Granny Smiths are still my favorite for baking.)
Within just a couple months of moving into our house, we went out and planted several fruit trees in our back yard. We’ve got 2 apple trees (they need each other to pollinate), 1 nectarine tree and a cherry tree. It’s been awesome watching them grow, but the worst part is having to pick all of the buds off every Spring. Picking the buds off of young trees sends the tree’s energy into growing bigger and stronger rather than producing fruit. This year, we decided to leave a couple of buds on each tree. Sure enough, we have a couple of apples out there! Or I should say had a couple of apples.
From my upstairs office window, I can literally watch the squirrels run off with my apples. I run out there yelling and hollering like a banshee, but to no avail. We’re now down to 2 apples, and I’m hoping the squirrels are full and leave those poor apples alone. If anyone has any tips for how to keep squirrels from eating all of your apples, please share!!
We recently had some friends come visit, and they requested an apple dessert. After all, we live in the middle of apple country, and apples are in season. Well, I got to thinking. Apples. That led to caramel. Ok, so now I had a caramel apple dessert of some sort. Then it hit me. Cheesecake. Caramel Apple Cheesecake.
Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts of all time, so I was stoked to get in the kitchen and create this fun cheesecake! Not only did I include some lightly sauteed apples in the cake, but I swirled some apple butter into the batter as well. (Thanks to my uncle-in-law for that little trick!) The result? Well, let’s just say this Caramel Apple Cheesecake didn’t last too long around here!