Pecan Pie just got an upgrade to this cheesecake. A delicious pecan topping thrones over a creamy cheesecake!
A crunchy pecan crust is the base of this New York style cheesecake. It is topped with an easy pecan caramel mixture that elevates this dessert to a new level.
Mix up the crust with pecan nuts
Usually I go with a simple butter graham cracker crust but adding nuts to a pecan cheesecake crust is almost a no brainer! Crushed pecans elevate the flavor and help keeping the crust together. If you want to you can even toast the pecan nuts before grinding them for a richer scent!
More tips needed? read here all my tips for a crackfree and silky smooth cheesecake!
Serve after chilling cheesecake with topping
After adding the pecan topping the cheesecake has to chill for another half an hour. I like a lot of topping so preferably add it when the cheesecake is still in its pan. You could also put a cake ring around it and tighten it to ensure the topping stays on top of the cheesecake.
Pecan Pie Cheesecake
Ingredients for a 8 or 9 inch cake
For the pecan crust:
1 cup (6 sheets, 125 g) graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup (95 g) pecan, finely ground
6 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar
For the cheesecake batter:
32 oz (900 g) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup (240 g) sour cream
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
For the pecan caramel topping:
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tbsp water
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups (250 g) chopped pecans, toasted
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. To make the pecan crust you need to ground the pecans and graham cracker in a food processor. Mix the fine crumbs with the melted butter and brown sugar and press the mixture in a spring form pan. You can use a 8 or 9 inch baking pan. Bake for about 10 minutes and let come to room temperature.
Boil about a quart of water for the water bath. To make the cheesecake filling, start off with a large bowl or use a food processor. Cream the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and spices with a hand mixer until smooth for about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add sour cream and mix it until smooth. Mix in heavy cream and eggs on a low speed until everything is evenly combined. Use a spatula and scrape down the bowl to make sure everything is well mixed. Fill it on top of the pre-baked cooled crust. Smooth it with a spatula. Cover the spring form pan in aluminum foil or a silicon baking pan to make sure no water can enter. Make the water bath with hot water.
Bake the cake in a 1 inch high water bath at 325 °F for about 70 minutes. Turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven for about 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven and water bath and cut around its edges with a knife. Let it come to room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes. Then let it cool over night or for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
To decorate the chilled cheesecake make a pecan topping. For that toast pecans in a frying pan without oil at medium heat. Make sure to stir nuts constantly to not burn them. This takes about 3 to 5 minutes. Let them cool down. Into a large sauce pan add butter, corn syrup, sugar, water and salt and bring to a boil at medium heat. Let it boil for about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and carefully add heavy cream. Be careful it will bubble a lot. Mix it until smooth. When it is smooth stir in vanilla, cinnamon and pecans. Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes and then fill it on top of the chilled cheesecake. Smooth it with a spatula. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving.
To ensure a crack free cheesecake I recommend to read this cheesecake recipe.
The crust is thin and crunchy. If you like a higher and thicker crust just double the amount.
To ensure a smooth consistency without any lumps of cream cheese the cream cheese has to be at room temperature and mixed well before adding more ingredients. Add just a small amount of liquid ingredients at the beginning and mix it in completely before adding more.
Tapping the cheesecake on the counter (covered with a kitchen towel) before baking helps releasing air bubbles that might have formed.
Always bake the cheesecake in a water bath. Got water in your layers of aluminum foil? Cover it with a slow cooker liner or switch to a silicon mold to cover your spring form pan. Works wonders for me!