This dessert takes a few days to prepare though the actual time involved is fairly minimal. A great make-ahead dessert for the holidays.
Pecan Pie Cheesecake
1 pecan pie*
2 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 (8-ounce) packages Philadelphia cream cheese, softened (not low-fat)
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
16 pecan halves
Preheat oven to 325°F.
A day in advance of making the cheesecake prepare one PECAN PIE following our family recipe.
Cool pie completely; best refrigerated overnight. Facilitates slicing. Cut thinly, into 18 to 20 thin slices, keeping wedges intact, and set aside.
Stir together cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter and cinnamon. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and 1 1/2-inches up sides of a 10-inch springform pan.
Arrange 10 pecan pie wedges in a spoke design in prepared pan, placing 1 cut side of each wedge on crust with narrow end towards center of pan. Reserve remaining pecan pie wedges for another use; some folks may prefer it. Pecan pie never lasts very long in our house.
Beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add sour cream, half-and-half, and vanilla; beat until blended. Fold in confectioners' sugar and flour. Carefully pour cream cheese mixture evenly over pecan pie wedges in pan, making sure wedges remain in place. Arrange pecan halves evenly around edge.
Bake at 325°F for 50 minutes. Turn off oven, and let cheesecake stand in oven 1 hour. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Chill at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.
Recipe adapted from one in Southern Living's cook-off collection.
Makes 16 servings
*If you are really short on time, you can use a pre-made pecan pie, e.g. Mrs. Smith's Special Pecan Pie, but it really is not as scrumptious as our homemade version, which is very easy to prepare.
**Another shortcut, when you make the pecan pie would be to use Pillsbury Pie Crusts, but again, if you have the time, nothing beats Tootie's Pie Crust.
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