Something nobody ever told me about cheesecake is that it is a labor of love. I mean, real New York style cheesecake proved to be complicated yet worth every minute spent on the craft.
My recipe started from Food Networks Pecan Pie Cheesecake and evolved with my own little twists. I prefer traditional tastes with fewer steps and good news–it still turned out mouthwatering good!
Items you will need in addition to the ingredients: food processor, spring pan, round serving cake pan (if you plan to transport), and deep sided roasting pan.
Ingredients for Crust
- 6 Tbsp salted butter, melted
- 1 Sleeve Regular Graham Crackers
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- Pinch of fine salt
For the crust, make sure you have a rack in the center and preheat to 325 degrees Farenheight.
Using a food processor, pulse crackers until finely ground. Add butter, sugar, and salt and pulse until mixture comes together.
When you go to pack your mixture in the bottom of your spring pan, you want the consistency to hold it’s shape.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. Leave oven on at set temperature.
Ingredients for Filling
- 4 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 c sugar
- 1 c sour cream
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
Before you begin your filling, make sure food processor is free of any graham cracker crumbs.
Pulse cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream until completely smooth. You make have to scrape the sides of the processor to bring in any unmixed residue.
Add eggs and vanilla until evenly incorporated.
Before filling pan with mixture, place pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold the foil up the sides to ensure that no water from the pan seeps into the cheesecake.
Fill pan with mixture. Go slow to avoid causing bubbles. (I learned this the hard way)
Place pan inside roasting pan and fill with hot water until halfway up the sides of the spring pan. Be sure the water does not go above the foil.
Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 12 minutes. The edges will be set while the center should move in a slow wave-like motion.
Turn the oven off, open the door for 4 seconds to release some heat, and close the door to allow for the cheesecake to cook completely through. Set your timer for 1 hour.
As the cheesecake cools, the sides should shrink away from the rim of the spring pan. If this does not occur, run a knife gently around the edges.
Ingredients for Topping
- 1/2 c pecans, halved. If you wanted them chopped, use a full cup
- 1/2 c heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp salted butter
- 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 c sugar
In a medium skillet, cook sugar in an even layer on medium heat without stirring, until it begins to melt.
Gently swirl pan as needed to incorporate all granules and prevent burning. You will see the sugar turn lightly golden in some spots. Keep cooking and swirling until caramel is uniform and deep amber.
*Note: this was the hardest step for me. If you feel this is too difficulty, use caramel squares. Melt them down until pourable and pour over cheesecake. –adding pecans as your last step.
Pour sauce in the center of cheesecake, allowing to run over the edges. Top with pecans as preferred.