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close up of a slice of Apple Bottom Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake

Apple Bottom Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake

Many Southern desserts incorporate liquors, bourbon being a favorite, as many sweets are absolutely elevated with the addition of bourbon.
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Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Chilling Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 3 hours 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple pie, apple pie cheesecake, baked cheesecake, baking, Bourbon, bourbon apple pie cheesecake, bourbon pecan praline cheesecake, cheesecake, christmas dessert, classic cheesecake, cream cheese cheesecake, dessert, pecan pie, Praline, thanksgiving dessert
Servings: 8 servings (12 if smaller slices)
Calories: 860kcal
Cost: $1.51 per serving

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Equipment

  • 9-inch non-stick springform pan
  • stand mixer or electric hand mixer
  • small non-stick sauté pan

Ingredients

Ingredients for Apple Bottom Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake

    for the cookie crust

    • 1 3/4 cups graham crackers may substitute gingersnaps
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

    for the bourbon caramel apple pie layer

    • 4 or 5 extra large Granny Smith apples pared, cored and chopped into 1/2 pieces
    • 2 tablespoons bourbon
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • pinch salt
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    for the creamy cheesecake filling

    • 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese softened to room temperature
    • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 cup sour cream full fat
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    for the bourbon praline pecan topping

    • 1/2 cup brown sugar light or dark
    • 3 tablespoons bourbon
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves

    optional

    • whipped cream

    Instructions

    The Method

      for the cookie crust

      • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom and inside of a 9-inch diameter springform pan LIBERALLY with baking spray.
      • Crush graham crackers in a bag with a rolling pin to obtain 1 3/4 cups.  Add melted butter and sugar and combine well. Press onto bottom and 2/3 up the sides of the springform pan. Place in oven for 10 minutes or golden. Remove the springform from the oven and allow to cool, about 10 minutes.
      • Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
      • Place springform pan on 3 layers of aluminum foil and wrap outside of pan tightly with foil. Ensure that no water can penetrate through the foil. Place in the bottom of a large roasting pan and set aside.

      for the bourbon caramel apple pie layer

      • Pour 6 tablespoon sugar in a large sauté pan. Shake pan to create an even layer of sugar. Place on medium to medium-low heat and allow sugar to melt into a light golden caramel. This will take some time so be patient. When part of sugar is starting to melt, shake pan or stir to ensure an even melting.
      • When nearly all sugar has melted add the bourbon and cook for 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Add the butter and salt and stir to combine. Add chopped apples. Caramel will cling to apples which is normal. Keep stirring on low medium heat until apples are fully soft and caramel has melted.
      • Remove from heat and add cinnamon and vanilla extract. Stir. Transfer into springform pan and set aside.

      for the creamy cheesecake filling

      • Beat cream cheese and sugar on lowest speed using a stand mixer or a handheld mixer until no lumps remain. Scrape bowl as needed. Add 1 egg at a time on low speed waiting for previously added egg to be fully incorporated. Scrape bowl and between additions.
      • Add egg yolk, sour cream and vanilla extract and mix well. Pour batter onto apples in springform pan.
      • Use a kettle to pour 2-inches of water into the roasting pan around the foiled springform pan and place ensemble in the oven. Bake until center of cake no longer trembles when tapping sides of  pan, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
      • Allow to cool at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes and refrigerate overnight uncovered as plastic film will cause the cheesecake to sweat.

      for the bourbon praline pecan topping

      • In a non-stick saucepan, heat the bourbon over medium heat to burn off the alcohol, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil excluding pecans. Boil for 3 minutes ensuring that mixture will not boil over. Remove from heat and stir in pecans. Allow topping to completely cool.
      • Meanwhile, run a sharp knife around the inside edge of cheesecake. Use a cake releaser or same sharp knife to release the cheesecake from the bottom of the springform pan. Transfer to a pedestal or cake plate.
      • Spoon bourbon praline pecan topping onto the top of the cheesecake. Serve at room temperature. 

      if you experience any blemishes or nicks while transferring the cheesecake

      • Use a can of fresh dairy whipped cream just before serving to add rosettes or a streamline to cover those blemishes. Continue with spooning bourbon praline pecan topping onto the top of the cheesecake.

      Notes

      Plan Ahead:
      Cutting into it the cheesecake before it's had the 24 hour chill time to firm up will cause the remaining sides to collapse.
      Correctly Sized Equipment:  
      I specify a 9-inch springform pan. A 10-inch springform will also work for this method but you must add additional graham crackers for the crust to equal 2 cups.
      If using a 10-inch springform you must also check the cheesecake for doneness beginning at 1 1/4 hours.
      Pro tip: once the cheesecake is fully baked and no longer jiggles when tapped, allow it to cool for a full 30 to 45 minutes before placing into the refrigerator for 24 hours, uncovered. The 30 to 45 minutes on the counter for a SLOW cooldown prevents the cheesecake from cracking.
      If removing the cheesecake from the springform pan bottom is simply not an option:
      Serve directly from the form bottom free from slippage by
      • Take about 1/4 cup of peanut butter and place the whole big dollop on a pretty cake plate.
      • Center the cheesecake with bottom attached over the cake plate and set it down. The peanut butter is going to be a sort of 'glue.'
      • Shimmy the cake gently to allow the form bottom to sufficiently rest atop the cake plate and eliminate any and all gaps between the form bottom and the cake plate.
      • Cover the cake loosely with plastic and place the entire ensemble in the refrigerator to allow the peanut butter to get cold and to harden.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1serving | Calories: 860kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 52g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 191mg | Sodium: 321mg | Potassium: 448mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 70g | Vitamin A: 1377IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 2mg

      Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.