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Gluten Free Apple Caramel Cheesecake

Who loves cheesecake? This girl! 
Who loves apples (and anything with apples in it)? This girl! 

Marshal's mom found this recipe in a Tennessee Home and Farm magazine. It wasn't gluten free so I had to tweak it a little bit. 

What you need is 
-1.5 C cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (about 8 whole crackers)
-3/4 C sugar, divided
-1/4 C butter, melted
-1 (14 oz) pkg caramels
-2/3 C evaporated milk
-1/2 C chopped pecans, divided
-2 8 oz pkgs of cream cheese, softened
-2 large eggs, lightly beaten
-1.5 C peeled and chopped apples
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

I ordered Kinnikinnick Graham Cracker Crumbs with this recipe in mind! They worked great!

I could not find packaged caramels, so I ended up buying a can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk to make my caramel. (Thanks to Marshal's mom for giving us this idea). I actually found this blog post on Twitter around the same time (thank goodness!) and decided to give it a try! I used my crockpot to convert the milk to caramel. Check out how to do this here

I was so excited that it worked! A slow cooker is just magic! If you try this, eliminate the evaporated milk and packaged caramels from your ingredient list. And also, you will need 8 hours to make the caramel this way, so give yourself plenty of time. 

To make the cheesecake:
1. Place a greased 9 inch springform pan on a double thickness of heavy duty foil. Securely wrap foil around pan. 
2. In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and butter. Press onto bottom and 1 in up the sides of the pan. Place on a baking sheet. 
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. 
(Eliminate this next step if you are making the caramel with the slow cooker.)
4. In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, cook caramels and milk, stirring constantly until melted and smooth. 
5. Pour 1 cup over crust, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup pecans. Set remaining caramel mixture aside. 
(Before pecans were added)

6. Beat the cream cheese, 1 tbsp flour (I used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose), and remaining sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. 
7. Combine the apples, cinnamon and remaining flour, and fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour into crust.

8. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 inch of hot water to larger pan. Bake for 40 minutes.
9. Reheat reserved caramel mixture if necessary; gently spoon over cheesecake. Sprinkle with remaining pecans.
10. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until center is just set. Remove pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. 

MMMmmm look at all that cheesecake goodness...


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