Sunday, December 9, 2012

Apple and Caramel Cheesecake Trifle

This was our Thanksgiving dessert. All you need is a bunch of spoons and just dig in!

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 medium honey crisp apples, peel, cored, and diced
8 ounces caramel sauce (not syrup)
1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups heavy cream
8 ounces gingersnap cookies

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the apples. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 8 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, 5 minutes. Scrape the apples onto a plate and refrigerate until cool.

In a bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of water. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Microwave at high power for 10 seconds, just until the gelatin is melted. Transfer the gelatin mixture to a large bowl. Add the cream cheese and the remaining 1/2 cup of caramel sauce. Using an electric mixer, beat at medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.

In another bowl, whip 1 1/2 cups of the cream until firm peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture using a spatula.

Spoon one-fourth of the mousse into a medium trifle bowl. Top with one-fourth of the gingersnaps and one-fourth of the pears. Repeat the layering, ending with a layer of pears. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.

When ready to serve, prepare the cream. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream until soft peaks form. Dollop the cream over the trifle and garnish with crushed gingersnaps.

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