the mister isn't into (traditional) birthday cake, so to celebrate his 31st, i made annie's eats' caramel apple cheesecake pie. it's pretty time-consuming, so i recommend only making this for people whom you love dearly (or people who are paying you).
followed the recipe as-is, except for the following:
1) for the crust, i used half graham cracker crumbs and half gingersnap cookie crumbs
2) i did NOT make the topping (whipped cream + more caramel). i figured there was already enough fat & sugar in the rest of the cake.
next time, i'll probably use less sugar for the apples. and the parchment paper circle helped a whole lot.
it's pac man! no, it's caramel apple cheesecake!