Melissa’s Menu: Pecan pie cheesecake

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Combine two classic desserts this Thanksgiving with this week’s recipe: Pecan pie cheesecake. This recipe will be your new fall go-to. It has a creamy, tangy base of classic cheesecake and is topped with a sweet and crunchy pecan mixture that is similar to pecan pie filling. The cheesecake base can be made up to a day in advance, while the topping can be made up to an hour before serving. It is a recipe that requires decent preparation, but it is definitely worth the effort.  

Ingredients  

For the cheesecake: 


Photo courtesy of    delish.com

Photo courtesy of delish.com

Cooking spray 

3 (8 oz.) blocks of cream cheese, softened 

1 cup of packed brown sugar 

3 large eggs 

1/4 cup of sour cream 

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour 

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract 

1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt  

For the crust:  

1 sleeve of graham crackers, finely crushed 

5 tablespoons of melted butter 

1/4 cup of packed brown sugar 

pinch of kosher salt 

For the pecan pie topping: 

4 tablespoons of butter 

1/2 cup of packed brown sugar 

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon 

1/4 cup of heavy cream 

1 3/4 cup of whole or chopped pecans 

Pinch of kosher salt  

Directions 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an eight or nine inch springform pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl using a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment), beat cream cheese and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, then sour cream, flour, vanilla and salt. In a separate large bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, brown sugar and salt. Press mixture into prepared pan. Pour the filling over crust. Wrap the bottom of the pan in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until the center of the cheesecake only slightly jiggles, which should take about one hour and 30 minutes. Turn off heat, prop open the oven door and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for about an hour, then remove aluminum foil from the pan and refrigerate the cheesecake until firm, at least five hours or up to overnight.   

Before serving, make pecan pie topping: In a nonstick skillet over low heat, melt butter and brown sugar until bubbly (keep heat low to avoid burning butter). Stir in cinnamon, heavy cream, pecans and salt until completely coated, then remove from heat and let cool and thicken slightly. (You can make the topping up to an hour in advance and keep at room temperature; don’t refrigerate as the butter will solidify.) Release springform pan from cheesecake and spoon over cooled pecan pie topping.  


Melissa Scrivani is the associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at melissa.scrivani@uconn.edu.

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