No-Bake Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake
Save the oven for the turkey and let the fridge do the heavy lifting.
Oven tied up? This no-bake dessert has got your back!
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching for our friends in the USA. Whether you are celebrating or not, this Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake recipe is one to keep in your back pocket. It is creamy, easy to make, and covered in caramel. Better yet, most of the work is done in the fridge.
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This cheesecake has all the warm and spicy flavors of freshly baked apple pie but without all of the work. The no-bake graham cracker crust supports a cool, creamy cheesecake filling. Pile it high with sautéed apples, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and a pinch of flaky salt.
I like the insurance of gelatine to help set a no-bake cheesecake. The texture is mousse-like and slices smoothly. A bit of plain Greek yogurts cuts the richness while still being velvety and delightful on the tongue.
Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake
1 2⁄3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1⁄2 tablespoons brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1⁄2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
2 tablespoons water
1 3⁄4 cups cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1⁄3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1⁄4 cups heavy cream
1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, diced
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1⁄3 cup brown sugar
1⁄2 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Caramel sauce for drizzling
Flaky sea salt, optional
Place graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Add melted butter and mix until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Tip mixture into an 8 or 9-inch pie pan. Firmly press the crumbs around the sides and bottom of the pan in an even layer. Refrigerate the crust as you prepare the filling.
For filling, add gelatine to a small bowl and sprinkle with the water. Set aside to bloom, at least 5 minutes.
Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl. Using a stand or hand mixer, mix the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and continue to mix until creamy, about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the sugar begins to dissolve.
Zap gelatine in microwave for 10-12 seconds to liquify. Add gelatine, yogurt, vanilla, and cinnamon to the cream cheese mixture. Mix on medium-low speed for another 2 minutes or so until combined and smooth.
In a clean bowl, whisk cream on medium-high speed until it holds medium peaks. Add about 1⁄3 of the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and fold to combine. Add in the remaining whipped cream and fold everything together until smooth.
Dollop the cream cheese mixture into the prepared crust and smooth it out with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Return everything to the refrigerator and allow it to set, at least 3 hours.
For apple pie topping, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add apples and continue to cook for a few minutes. Add the brown sugar and stir.
Meanwhile, stir together water and cornstarch. Pour cornstarch mixture into the pan along with the cinnamon. Continue to cook the apples until they soften and the sauce thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Allow the apples to cool slightly before topping the set cheesecake.
To serve, top the cheesecake with the cooled apple pie mixture. Drizzle with caramel sauce and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, if desired.
Serving and Storage:
The cheesecake is best served soon after the topping has been made. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If making in advance, store the cheesecake in the refrigerator without the topping. The apple topping may turn cloudy once refrigerated.
As mentioned, I prefer to set a no-bake cheesecake with gelatine to ensure a clean slice. If you wish to exclude the gelatine, the cheesecake will still set but it may not come out as nicely from the pan. In either case, allow for the full 3 hours for the cheesecake to set before attempting to serve.
The apple topping is best served just after it cools. As it continues to cool and after refrigeration, it may turn cloudy.