Culinary Challenge Honorable Mention: Most Indulgent Dessert

Directions:

Caramel Cheesecake Cosmic Crisp® Apples with Bourbon Caramel Apple Cider Sauce

Recipe by Brenda Watts, honorable mention for Most Indulgent Dessert under the At-Home Chef Category of the Culinary Challenge!

  1. Prepare apple crisp nest base. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom and sides of a 13-x9-x2-inch oblong dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl  place 5 cups of sliced apples and sprinkle over top with 3 tablespoons granulated sugar. toss gentle till apple slices are coated with sugar. Spoon and spread sugared apple slices evenly into the bottom of prepared oblong dish; set aside. In another large bowl  for topping of apple crisp nest base  combine rolled oats  1/2 cup brown sugar  flour  cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in 1/3 cup cubed firm butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped pecans to crumb mixture until combined. Sprinkle apple crisp crumb mixture evenly over top of spread sugared apple slices; set aside.
  2. Prepare caramel cheesecake stuffed apples. In an additional large bowl  beat the cream cheese together till blended. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar  1/4 cup caramel sauce  large egg  egg yolk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract  continue beating until cheesecake mixture is blended and smooth. Cover bowl  place covered bowl in refrigerator to keep chilled. Meanwhile  line the bottom and sides of an additional 13-x9-x2-inch oblong dish with parchment paper; set aside. Prepare the 6 whole apples  first cut 1/4-inch off the tops of each. Using a melon baller or spoon  remove the stem  core  seeds and continue trimming back and scooping inside of each apple  leaving 1/2-to1/3-inch of the flesh around the inner edges. (*discard or reserve trimmed away apple flesh for another future recipe). Using a piping bag or spoon  fill each hallowed apple with cheesecake filling. Place each filled apple into the prepared lined oblong dish. Tear off a large sheet of aluminum foil to cover the filled apples  and fold the foil in half lengthwise to form a tent  place the tent shaped foil over the top of filled apples  but don’t seal edges. 
  3. Place dish of apple crisp nest base and also dish of filled apples alongside each other in preheated oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes  or until apples in both dishes are tender and baked through. Remove from oven and place over wire rack to cool and let rest about 15 minutes.  
  4. Meanwhile prepare bourbon caramel apple cider sauce. In a medium size heavy-duty saucepan  combine 1 cup brown sugar  heavy cream  bourbon  apple cider  3 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract and cook over medium heat and gradually reduce heat to low. stirring frequently  until sauce mixture bubbles and thickens  about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let sauce mixture set slightly about 5 minutes.  
  5. To assemble prepare and serve recipe. Spoon six even portions of apple crisp nest base in the bottom of individual dessert dishes. Carefully  place a caramel cheesecake stuffed apple over top of each apple crisp nest base. Drizzle or spoon to add the warm bourbon caramel apple cider sauce over tops and sides of each serving. Top each with a pecan half to garnish. Serve and enjoy.

Ingredients:

For Apple Crisp Net Base
  • 5 cups sliced Cosmic Crisp® Apples  (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds-around 4 apples) peeled  cored and sliced thin  
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar  
  • 1/2 cup quick rolled oats   
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar  
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour  
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon  
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ground nutmeg  
  • 1/3 cup firm cold unsalted butter cut in small cubes  
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans.
For caramel cheesecake stuffed apples
  • 2 1/2 packages (two 8-oz. and one half 4-oz each sizes) cream cheese bars  softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup thick style caramel sauce
  • 1 large egg   + 1 egg yolk  
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract  
  • 6 large or medium size Cosmic Crisp® Apples (one 3-pound bag)
For bourbon caramel apple cider sauce and garnish
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar  
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream  
  • 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey  
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider  
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter  
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract  
  • 6 halve pecans