Cousin Johnnie’s Caramel Apple Cheesecake

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Cousin Johnnie’s Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cousin Johnnie’s Caramel Apple Cheesecake Recipe Courtesy of

Servings: 16 servings, 10-inch cheesecake
Prep Time: 12 hours 25 min
Cook Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients Add to grocery list


3 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 22 crackers)
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar


4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 eggs


8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 pounds (about 3 large) Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream





Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan tightly with foil to prevent moisture from the water bath from seeping into the cheesecake


In a food processor, mix the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar. Press the mixture into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove it from the oven to cool completely.


In a food processor or with an electric mixer, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Add the sour cream, orange juice, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, blending until just combined. *Cook’s Note: It’s important to blend well with no clumps as this will make the filling a smoother consistency when baked.

Pour the filling into the crust. Put a roasting pan on a rack in the center of the oven and transfer the cheesecake to the pan. Fill the roasting pan with hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan and cover it loosely with foil. Bake until the center moves only slightly when the cake pan is shaken, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check the water level about 1 hour into the baking, adding more water, if needed. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and transfer the cake pan to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate overnight.


Melt the butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add the apples and pecans and cook, stirring, until they are coated with butter, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves and the liquid comes to a boil, about 3 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples and pecans to a bowl. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook the remaining liquid, stirring often, until it turns a deep amber, about 6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat to stop the cooking and add the cream. Be careful, as the cream may splatter. Return the skillet to the heat and bring it to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the apples and pecans. Allow to cool until lukewarm.

Spread the caramel-apple mixture evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Use a knife dipped in hot water to cut through the cheesecake.

Show: Paula's Best Dishes Episode: Dishin' With the Deens
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Publication: Deen Family Cookbook

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Reader Comments:


Paula I love you so much, and I just want to let you know that you are in my prayers every day, I'm with you, Love you so much, GOD BLESS YOU!

By Leticia Ornelas on July 07, 2013


Love u and all ur food

By Sarah on January 24, 2013


my dad is not much of a cheesecake fan but he loves caramel apples, hopefully if i make this for him i can make him into a cheesecake lover like me smile

By Anonymous on September 04, 2012


Paula, do not let these ill-minded people take control of your mind or life. Let them sue, people always do when other peiople are more popular, more loved by the public, and they always try to destroy what you hav workek for all your life. Keep your chin up, We all love you, and God loves you to. I know a lot of people stand behind you and support you all the way. Don't give up Paula, lots of love from the reBrook family.

By Rodney ReBrook on March 07, 2012


Great recipe. Love your show!! Nothing my daughter or I ever made that is your recipe has ever disappointed. My favorite is the short ribs.

By Joyce Dandy on October 22, 2011


i am going to make this cake for turkey day cannot wait. i love paula and i watch her show am southern and was raised on her kind of cooking

By jean giamarino on October 22, 2011


This sounds just like what my cousin makes . Makes me hungry for it now !!!!!

By Teresa Smith on October 21, 2011



By CHARLES BEX on October 21, 2011


I have to tell you a funny story... My oldest son loves to cook (maybe not quite as much as momma) but he especially loves to compete with me on food dishes. He came up with a challenge for a "dish made with apples". I decided do a test and made my own version of gooey butter cake with a homemade apple filling inside - it turned out great! But then, 1 week before our contest, I was watching Paula on Food network with my boyfriend, and we saw her make this recipe. OH MY GOD! He jumped up and started getting all excited, begged me to make this - after I made a trial run that we could sample in secret of course (hehehe he just wanted his own cheesecake!). Well I did it, took that cheesecake to work (our coworkers were the judges) and kicked his young hiney (thanks to Paula!). I think I left with 3 marriage proposals that day! LOL Thanks Paula! GREAT recipe. I will use the cheesecake base as my plain cheesecake recipe from now on as well. VERY creamy.

By Susan Morrison on September 21, 2011


By Anonymous on September 21, 2010


By Anonymous on September 03, 2010


By Anonymous on August 18, 2010


its so so good,just make sure u have it in the fridge for a full 24 hours

By Anonymous on August 11, 2010

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