Cream cheese, caramel, pecans, and maple syrup are a natural combination.
24 ounces cream cheese (3 packages), room temperature
2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2 inch slices
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14.5 Ounces)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon Calvados (Apple Brandy) (optional)
1 1/2 cups shortbread cookies, crushed
5 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted
1/2 cup pecans
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoon maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to a medium saute pan and heat over medium-high. When the butter has melted, add the apple slices. After the apples have softened (about 10 minutes), add the tablespoons of brown sugar and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the Caramel:
In a small pot, add the 1/2 cup of sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Without stirring, cook until the sugar becomes a golden amber color. Remove from heat and add the heavy cream while whisking. The mixture may foam some. Stir in the maple syrup. Set the caramel aside.
For the Crust:
Add the shortbread, pecans, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to a food processor. Using short pulses chop the mixture until uniform in texture (similar to corn meal) and well combined. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the melted butter. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of a 10 inch spring form pan.
For the Filling:
Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and condensed milk. Add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each one. Mix in the cinnamon and Calvados. Fold in the apple slices.
Pour the mixture into the prepared spring form pan. Place pan on a cookie sheet and place into oven. Bake until cheesecake becomes firm and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place cheesecake in refrigerator and let cool completely before removing from pan, at least 3 hours. When cheesecake has completely cooled and been removed from the pan, pour caramel sauce over the top to form a single layer. You can also choose to add the caramel to individual servings.