This year at Christmas, I wanted something different for dessert. For Thanksgiving, I had made a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie and, though I do love those traditional tasty treats, I was looking for something to surpass even Christmas itself. My mother had made a fantastic cheesecake when I was staying with her this summer, so I contacted her for the recipe. Pecan Pie Cheesecake with Dulce de Leche sauce sounded like just the thing.
She sent me this recipe from the Spicy Southern Cooking website. After talking to my mother about the outcomes of her cheesecakes, I decided to change the recipe just slightly. My mother said the crust turned hard both times she’d done this recipe. She thought it could be attributed to the idea that the sugar of the vanilla wafers combined with even more sugar for the crust in the original recipe was just too much sugar. I’ve never had a problem with the plain old graham cracker crust, so I substituted the same amount of graham crackers for the vanilla wafers. It turned out wonderfully! It even turned slightly gooey after a couple of days, reminiscent of a regular pecan pie. Next time I make it, I think I’ll change the recipe again by cutting the cheesecake layer in half because it was SO insanely rich… But there will be a next time, for sure. This one is going down in the books as special!
My random baking notes: The original recipe called for dark corn syrup but I didn’t have any. I just used the regular Karo light corn syrup. I am a vanilla-holic so I always add more like double than what is called for in a recipe (that’s the plus in the recipe below- I’ll leave that decision up to you). I beat that cream cheese. Boy, did I beat that cream cheese. And I beat it after every addition, too. Consequently, the cheesecake was so creamy, smooth and fantastic that I highly recommended you use a mixer and whip it, whip it real good. I put the cheesecake in the oven on the rack above a casserole dish half filled with water (a lazy person’s water bath, I called it), and I also left the cheesecake in the oven after I turned it off for an hour (as stated in the recipe). The cheesecake came out with ever so slight cracks around the edges but never got the huge crack down the middle that is common.
This is the recipe I used so yours turns out just as delectable as ours was for Christmas:
- 1¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅔ cup corn syrup
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ cups chopped pecans
- 1+ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in melted butter. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan.
- Combine all pecan pie ingredients in a medium saucepan.
- Stir well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring continuously, until mixture thickens slightly (I think it was about 6 minutes). Pour into prepared crust.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until smooth and creamy.
- Add brown sugar and flour and beat until fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything mixes evenly.
- Add cream and vanilla and beat just to combine. Pour mixture over pecan pie filling.
- Place in oven on a rack above a bake proof container filled with water and bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off but leave cheesecake (and water) in oven with door closed for 1 more hour.
- Remove cheesecake from oven and run a knife around the sides to make sure they are not sticking. Let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with Dulce de Leche.
Enjoy, but hopefully not too much LOL