Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baking rack in the middle of the oven. Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan with shortening.
1. Peel, core and chop 3 large firm crisp apples. Toss them in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, set aside.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the 1 3/4 cup of white sugar, butter, the cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until well combined and creamy.
3. Combine the flour,salt and baking powder in a small bowl, stir to combine. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, beat with an electric mixer until just combined. Add the chopped apples and fold them into the batter.
4. Pour the apple batter into the prepared 13x9 inch baking pan. Leveling the batter out as needed.
5. In a small bowl combine the light brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans. Sprinkle over the apple batter in pan.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 -60 minutes or until the cake tests done with a toothpick.