caramel apple cheesecake parfait

Cheesecake recipe #2 for KRAFT’s #cheesecakecheer holiday dessert campaign.  Since I’ve never made an apple pie, I took the idea of it and turned it into something I could make.  A simple dessert that has all the flavors of an apple pie and you don’t have to feel bad about eating it (it’s a ‘lighter’ version with greek yogurt).  The aroma of butter, cinnamon and nutmeg simmering together with sweet apples is a smell that lets me know winter is here (well, not in California, but elsewhere in the USA).

Happy Turkey Day next week!

-Leslie

 Cheesecake Parfait | Leslie Grow Photography

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. KRAFT Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 3 T.  sugar (2T. for cheesecake, 1T. for apples)
  • ½ cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 baking apples, cored, skin on, cut into ¼ inch slices (granny smith, pink lady, honeycrisp, or fuji)
  • 3 T. unsalted butter
  • ¼ t. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ t. nutmeg (optional)
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ½ cup cinnamon Graham Crackers, finely crushed (about 8 squares)
  • handful of any kind of nut (optional), for garnish

Cheesecake Parfait | Leslie Grow Photography

How to make:

  • BEAT cream cheese and 2 T. sugar until smooth in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in yogurt.  Refrigerate while making apples.  Can be refrigerated up to 8hrs.

Cheesecake Parfait | Leslie Grow Photography

  • COOK apples in a large skillet over medium-high heat, first melting 3 tablespoons butter.  Add the apple slices, 1 T. sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Mix until apples are evenly coated.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, to soften slightly.  Set aside to cool.

Cheesecake Parfait | Leslie Grow Photography

  • ASSEMBLE by using 4 jars or dessert bowls.  Begin with a layer of graham cracker crumbs, add a layer of cream cheese mixture, add a layer of apples, and a drizzle of caramel sauce (see Salted Caramel Sauce below).  Repeat.  Serve immediately.

Cheesecake Parfait | Leslie Grow Photography

 

Salted Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1½ t. sea salt

Salted Caramel Sauce | Leslie Grow Photography

How to make:

  • HEAT the sugar over medium high-heat in the bottom of a heavy 2-3 quart saucepan. When the sugar starts to melt, start whisking the sugar. When the sugar is melted, stop whisking. You can swirl the pan to move the sugar around.  Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color.  As soon as the sugar reaches the dark amber color, carefully add the butter.
  • WHISK until butter is melted.
  • REMOVE the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream. Whisk until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Whisk in sea salt.
  • COOL the caramel sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the pan (off heat). Pour the caramel into a large jar and cool to room temperature.

Salted Caramel Sauce | Leslie Grow Photography

For creative holiday entertaining tips, visit Bri’s blog at DesignLoveFest.

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