Last week I made caramel apple butter from a dozen Gravenstein apples from my parents’ yard, date “sugar” (dehydrated and ground dates), water, apple cider vinegar, molasses, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. I didn’t measure the ingredients so I don’t have a recipe to share. After I made it, I became too ill with a cold virus to can it as I originally planned. I ended up eating most of it with heavy cream while sick, but still had a couple of cups left once I felt better. Last night I made cheesecake bars with some of it and froze the rest. Tonight my sister proclaimed it the best dessert I’ve ever made.
I adapted a raspberry cheesecake bar recipe to suit my ingredients and low carb lifestyle. The crust turned out great and tastes quite a bit like graham cracker crust. I used almond meal I had on hand and the courser texture wasn’t noticeable in it like it is in other baked goods. I tried to do the fancy piping the apple butter on and running a knife through it, but the texture of the apple butter is different from raspberry jelly so it didn’t work well. I ended up swirling it through the cheesecake batter instead. I ran out of vanilla extract so used a caramel flavoring I had on hand. It worked out well and increased the caramel notes in the dessert. These bars are firm enough to eat like a cookie, which was my goal.
2 cups almond meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup salted butter, melted
1 Tbs molasses
1 Tbs stevia-erythritol blend
1 tsp ground ginger (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup caramel apple butter
1/4 cup stevia-erythritol blend
1 tsp vanilla extract or caramel flavoring
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9″x13″ baking pan with butter or coconut oil. To make the crust: in a medium bowl, add almond meal, coconut flour, stevia-erythritol blend, ginger, and salt. Stir until well combined. Add melted butter and molasses. Stir with a spoon until all ingredients are equally distributed. Spoon into prepared baking pan and smooth out in an even layer. Using a small piece of parchment paper, press firmly down on the crust to pack it into the pan. To make the cheesecake: in a large bowl, add cream cheese, eggs, stevia-erythritol blend, vanilla or caramel flavoring, and salt. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon mixture on top the crust and smooth out in an even layer. Swirl the caramel apple butter through the cheesecake with a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheesecake layer is firmly set. Allow to cool before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.