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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

W4DW- Pecan Pie Cheesecake



I looked to my Facebook followers for direction on what recipe to post on "What's for Dinner Wednesday."  

Have you ever noticed that the older our parents and in laws get the harder they are to buy Christmas presents that they will love?  I have resorted to making my dad and father in law cheesecakes for Christmas if I can’t find anything else that they will absolutely love.  I hate to buy a gift that is just going to be returned or worse yet just collect dust in their homes.  Last year, I made my dad a Coconut Cheesecake that was supposed to be like the one from The Cheesecake Factory.  He loved it!  So, this year when my Father in law stumped my shopping skills my oldest son and I went to work making this Pecan Pie Cheesecake.  It wasn’t as difficult or as time consuming as some we have made over the years (my family LOVES cheesecake.)

The original recipe called for Vanilla wafer crumbs, but I was forced to use graham crackers when all the boys of the house had eaten all the cookies.    I liked the graham cracker crust and thought it did need a little something to balance all the sweetness of the pie filling base.


Pecan Pie Cheesecake



Crust:


¾  cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
 cup butter, melted

Pecan Filling:


1 cup sugar
 cup dark corn syrup
 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 ½ cups chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake Filling:


3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 ¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 eggs
 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine cracker crumbs and brown sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9 1/2″ springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pecan Filling:
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into crust and set aside.

Cheesecake Filling:
Reduce oven to 325°. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add brown sugar and flour and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Stir in cream and vanilla. Pour over pecan filling. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven with the door closed for 1 hour. Remove from oven and run a knife along the outside edges to loosen cheesecake from sides of pan. Let cool. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Many cheesecake recipes recommend that you wrap the bottom of the pan in aluminum foil and bake in a water bath.  This blogger recommended filling a Pyrex dish with very hot water on the bottom rack while the cheesecake baked on the top rack. This worked really well and we didn’t have a single crack on the top of the cake.