I get a little crazy sometimes. Don’t we all?
Case in point: my grocery store sells packaged caramel apples from late September through Halloween. They’re delicious. They’re covered in peanuts and I buy two packages a week. It’s so major in my household that my kids get way too excited on my behalf when they see them.
But as soon as the end of October hits, my supply abruptly dries up. The first year that happened, I actually called the company. It was a pretty embarrassing conversation. They told me that they don’t make the caramel apples after Halloween, and I actually begged them to make an exception for me. I offered to pay them more. They very politely refused. And I hung up, realizing I just had one of those crazy lady moments.
When something like that happens, the only feasible solution is to make a cheesecake. Cheesecake is always insane, so you can just be in that crazy place with your dessert. It’s ideal.
This one is a new favorite. It’s easy and the caramel apple topping is to die for. Plus, the cheesecake base itself is skinny. I usually make a skinny base because, let’s face it: even a skinny cheesecake is a decadent splurge.
The caramel topping goes on in the last part of the cheesecake baking, and it’s made primarily out of apple pie filling. There’s also a brown sugar drizzle on top that creates a lovely caramelized finish.
You might want to be careful, though. During one of those crazy moments we all have, you might eat way too much of this cheesecake. So I shared quickly with all my friends. I just wish I could send some to the caramel apple people. I’d feel better about myself if they could just see that I’m not always a maniac.
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3 packages (24 oz.) low-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla
21-oz. can apple pie filling
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
- Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a spring form pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix the melted butter with the brown sugar and graham cracker crumbs until the crumbs are moistened. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, beat the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the yogurt and vanilla and beat again. Finally, add the eggs and beat until just incorporated.
- Pour the filling into the graham cracker crust and bake for 50 minutes. Do not open the oven door while baking.
- Make the topping. Melt the dark brown sugar with the tablespoon of butter until the mixture is smooth and liquidy.
- Pull the cheesecake rack out from the oven. Spread the apple pie filling evenly over the cheesecake, starting in the middle and working outward.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon on top of the apple pie filling and then, working carefully to not burn yourself, drizzle the brown sugar mixture over the cinnamon.
- Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- When the cheesecake is done, turn the oven off and crack the door for about 15 minutes before removing the cheesecake to cool. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely.
- Chill overnight before serving.