Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Spicy Applesauce Cheesecake with Caramel Nut Sauce

Servings: 12-16
Applesauce and apple-pie spice team up for easy-as-apple-pie flavor.
Serve with the luscuous homemade pecan caramel sauce.

For Crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

For Filling:
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
1 16-ounce can or jar (1-2/3 cups) applesauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 large eggs

For Sauce:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

For Crust:
Combine crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir in butter, toss gently. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake in 375 degree F oven about 10 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool slightly on a wire rack.

For Filling:
Combine cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, and apple-pie spice. Beat until fluffy. Beat in applesauce and lemon juice. Beat in eggs until combined.

Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Bake on a shallow baking pan in a 375 degree F oven 40 to 45 minutes or until center is nearly set. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes. Loosen sides of pan. Cool 30 minutes more; remove sides. Cool completely. Chill at least 4 or up to 24 hours.

For Sauce:
In a small heavy saucepan melt 1/2 cup sugar over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking pan often. (Do not stir.) Reduce heat; cook about 5 miutes more or until sugar is melted and golden. Stir as necessary after sugar begins to melt (only when mixture bubbles). Remove from heat. Carefully pour in 1/2 cup whipping cream. Add 1 tablespoon butter. Return to heat; cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes more or until smooth. Stir in 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans. Cool. Cover and chill up to 24 hours.

To Serve:
Cut cheesecake into wedges; top with sauce.
Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Source: DianasDesserts.com
Date: September 26, 2002