Pecan Pie Cheesecake : National Cheesecake Day

Ingredients 

For the Pecan Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1/2 cup pecans, pulsed into crumbs
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Cheesecake:

  • (3) 8-ounces bricks cream cheese, very soft
  • 3/4 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs + 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon bourbon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the Pecan Pie Topping:

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pecans, whole or chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon bourbon (optional

For the Pecan Graham Cracker Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). 
  • Wrap the bottom and sides of a 9″ springform pan with heavy duty tinfoil. I recommend doing several diligent layers here to ensure no water creeps through when you place the pan in the water bath. Lightly spray the pan with non-stick spray, then set aside.
  • Place pecans in the body of a blender or food processor, and pulse until the nuts have been completely pulsed to fine crumbs.
  • In a large bowl combine the pecan crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add in the melted butter and, using a rubber spatula, stir well to combine.
  • Pour crust into prepared pan. Firmly pat the mixture into the prepared pan, working it from the center and up the sides. 
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Place crust on a cooling rack while you prepare the filling.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees (F).

For the Cheesecake:

  • In the body of a high power blender, food processor, stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand held mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and sour cream until completely smooth.
  • Add in both sugars, ground cinnamon, and vanilla and beat on medium speed, just until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
  • Reduce to low speed and add in the eggs and yolks and beat until just combined.
  • Turn the mixer off and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the bourbon. Then fold in the flour, mixing just until combined.
  • Pour filling on top of the partially baked crust. Using a rubber spatula, smooth the top.
  • Place the cheesecake pan into a large, deep pan. Fill the pan with 2 inches of hot water. This is your water bath and will help ensure your cheesecake comes out crack free.
  • Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Turn oven off and let the cheesecake sit, undisturbed, for 30 minutes, inside the oven, with the door shut. The cheesecake should be still slightly wiggly. 
  • Remove cake from oven and gently run a knife very around the edge of the cake. Place the cheesecake on a cooling rack and cool completely, then loosely cover the pan with saran wrap and chill for at least 8 hours.
  • Cheesecake will keep, covered in the fridge, for 5 days. Cheesecake may be frozen for 2 months. Thaw overnight before slicing. 

For the Pecan Pie Topping:

  • In a large skillet over low heat, melt the butter. Add in the brown sugar and cook, stirring with a whisk, until the sugar has melted and mixture is bubbling, about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the cinnamon, heavy cream, and salt and whisk to combine. Add in the pecans and, using a rubber spatula, fold them into the liquid mixture until they’re completely coated. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and bourbon.
  • Cool for 10 minutes, then scrape the mixture on top of the cheesecake. Slice and Serve.

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