Pecan Cheesecake with Caramel Whiskey Sauce

Serves 8

Pecan Crust

2 cups pecans
3 teaspoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoons water

Grind pecans in a food processor until fine. Add butter, vanilla, dark brown sugar and water and process until mixture is thoroughly blended. Press mixture into a spring form pan. Place pan on sheets of foil and secure foil on around the sides of the pan.

4 (8oz. packages) cream cheese
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 large eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat 1 package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch together on low until creamed, about 3 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape down sides of the bowl. Blend the remaining cream cheese, one packet at a time scraping the sides of bowl after each.

At a medium speed. Beat in the remaining sugar and vanilla. Blend in eggs, one at a time. Blend in eggs 1 at a time Beat in the cream until completely blended. Stir in pecan and gently spoon into crust.

Place cake pan in large shallow pan containing hot water about 1 inch deep. Bake until the edge is golden brown and light brown on top, about 2 hours. If cake is soft at the sides, bake an additional 10 minutes. When done, place pan on wire rack to cool for 2 hours. Once cooled cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Must be completely cold before serving.

When ready to serve, release pan and remove from cake. For easy slicing, dip knife into warm water before cutting each slice.

Caramel

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 lb. butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup whiskey
1/4 cup pecans

Place sugar and water in a small pot over medium heat. Once sugar has dissolved, add butter and cook until golden brown. Remove from heat, add cream by whisking. Slowly bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add whiskey and simmer for 5 more minutes to reduce. Remove from heat and add pecans. Store until ready to serve over cheesecake.

Tips & Perfection

The sauce stores for up to a week in the refrigerator covered. It’s great on pancakes, ice cream, waffles, pound cake and pain perdu or even the back of your hand!