Cheesecake-Stuffed Apples
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Recipe courtesy of Emily Weinberger for Food Network Kitchen

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Stuffed Apples

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
The nostalgia factor is high in this mash-up of two classic desserts: cheesecake and baked apples. Filled with rich cheesecake batter, gooey dulce de leche and buttered graham cracker crumbs, sweet Gala apples emerge from the oven fragrant with cinnamon and vanilla. Warm and delicious, they are ready for their closeup on the holiday table and are sure to become a treasured tradition.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the cream cheese, vanilla and 2/3 cup of the sugar with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl until very smooth. Add the eggs and whisk until completely combined.
  3. Cut 1/4 inch off the top of each apple. Use a melon baller or teaspoon to remove the stem and core and to hollow out about two-thirds of the apple, leaving 1/2 inch of flesh around the inside of the skin (reserve the scooped-out fruit for applesauce or smoothies).
  4. Fill each apple with 1 tablespoon cheesecake batter and then 1 tablespoon dulce de leche. Add some more cheesecake batter so it covers the dulce de leche completely and comes up to just below the rim. Wipe away any drips or spills from the outside and arrange the apples in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  5. Bake until the apples are soft when pierced with the tip of a knife or cake tester but still hold their shape, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.
  6. Meanwhile, increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Put the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then roughly chop; set aside.
  7. Pulse the graham crackers, cinnamon and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a food processor until fine crumbs. Add the butter and process until combined, about 3 pulses.
  8. Microwave the remaining dulce de leche in a small microwave-safe bowl until thin enough to drizzle, about 30 seconds. Divide the apples among small serving plates, drizzle each with some dulce de leche and top with the graham cracker mixture and chopped walnuts.