BILTMORE HOUSE RESTAURANT CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE PIE

Recipe courtesy of The Bear Cupboard (http:bearcupboard.blogspot.com)

Rating:  10 out of 10 


CRUST:  1 cup crushed gingersnaps (my addition)

1/2 cup crushed graham crackers

1/4 tsp. cinnamon  (I deleted the 3 Tbsp. sugar)

5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted + 1 Tbsp. soft butter for pan

1/2 cup caramel sundae topping

3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans


Heat oven to 375F.  Line bottom of a 9" round springform pan with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, combine gingersnap and graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon and butter.  Mix with fork until all crumbs are moistened.  Butter parchment and sides of pan with the 1 Tbsp. butter.  Press crumbs onto bottom and sides.  Bake 6-8 minutes, till golden in color.  Cool 10 minutes.  Pour caramel sauce over crust; sprinkle with pecans.  Refrigerate.


APPLE FILLING:  2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

6 Tbsp. frozen apple juice concentrate (my addition)

1/4 tsp. sea salt    (I deleted the 1/2 cup light brown sugar)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3 X-large Rome apples, cored, peeled, sliced in thin wedges (about 1/2") (Biltmore uses Granny Smith)


Combine butter, juice, salt and cinnamon in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil and add apple slices.  Cook apples till they are done, then transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet to cool.  Continue to cook juices till they are syrupy, then pour them over the apples and toss lightly to combine.  Cool slightly, then spoon the apples into the chilled crust.  Set aside.


CHEESECAKE:  8 oz. Neufchatel cheese  (Biltmore uses regular cream cheese)

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)

1 large egg

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice


Heat oven to 350F.  Combine cheese and sugar in medium bowl.  Beat on medium speed with electric mixer till smooth, about 1 minute.  Beat in vanilla, egg and juice till again smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Spread over apples. (The cheesecake batter will not completely cover the apples.) 


Bake about 30 minutes, or till cheesecake is set.  Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.  When ready to serve, carefully remove springform sides, remove bottom and parchment and place pie on serving plate.  Prepare whipped cream topping.


WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING:  2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

2 Tbsp. confectioner's sugar  (Biltmore uses 3-4 Tbsp and 3/4 cup heavy cream)

1/4 tsp. vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)

1/4 cup caramel sundae sauce

toasted chopped pecans


Chill cream, bowl and beaters in freezer for 15 minutes.  Beat cream till it thickens.  Slowly add sugar and flavoring and continue to beat till cream is stiff.  Spread over cheesecake layer.  Drizzle caramel sauce over topping and sprinkle with pecans.  Slice with a bread knife.