- 1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
- 2 tablespoons Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 32 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 cup Dixie Crystals Light Brown Sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 medium tart apples, chopped
- 1 medium apple, sliced, for garnish
- Caramel Topping
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup Dixie Crystals Light Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1/3 cup light cane syrup
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Mix well and press into a 9-inch springform pan and 1/2 inch up sides.
- Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until golden in color. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
- Place one 8-ounce package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar and cornstarch in bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low speed until creamy, about 3 minutes, then beat in remaining 3 packages of cream cheese.
- Increase mixer speed to high and beat in remaining 1 cup of sugar and brown sugar, then beat in vanilla, salt and seasonings. Mix in eggs one at a time, beating only until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix the batter. Slowly mix in cream and sour cream until just combined.
- Wrap springform pan in two layers of aluminum foil.
- Spread chopped apples over prepared crust and cover with cheesecake batter. Place pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about halfway up the sides of pan. Bake cheesecake until top is lightly browned, about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and center is set. Allow to cool in oven with door propped open.
- Cover cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it’s completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- In a heavy bottomed pot, such as enameled cast iron, combine all caramel topping ingredients save for extracts.
- Bring to a boil and stir until sugars are dissolved and mixture is well combined.
- Using a candy thermometer, watch for goal of about 230°F. Remove from heat and stir in extracts.
Remove baked cheesecake from oven. Pour caramel over chilled cheesecake. Press slices of apple in a circular pattern into caramel, then drizzle remaining caramel over apples. Serve immediately. If returning to refrigerator, remove at least one hour before serving to allow caramel to soften.
Recipe developed for Dixie Crystals by Susan Whetzel @doughmesstic.