This is what you get when you cross an apple pie with cheesecake — a combination with the best qualities of both. The glazed pecans enhance the cake tremendously, so don't leave them out!
To prepare Glazed Pecans: Preheat oven to 300°F. Line cookie pan with parchment paper or spray pan with vegetable pan spray. In medium bowl, stir together meringue powder, orange juice, granulated sugar and vanilla. Mix in pecans and stir until all pecans are coated well. Spread single-layer onto prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until nuts are golden brown. Cool completely.
Make crust: Preheat oven to 300°F. In small bowl, combine crust ingredients. Press firmly into bottom of springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Fill a large deep pan with hot water and place on bottom oven rack. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, brown sugar and granulated sugar with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add flour; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Toss together the chopped apples and cinnamon. Fold into cheesecake batter. Pour over cooled crust. Place cheesecake in middle of oven. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until cheesecake is firm when gently shaken. Turn off oven; leave cheesecake in closed oven for 30 minutes to cool down slowly. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool 1 hour. Refrigerate covered at least 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, drizzle caramel topping over top. Top with Glazed Pecans.
Makes 12 servings.