So, 2021 has turned out to be a busy year and I’m bummed to not be able to bake as much for the foodblog but we’ve had lots of exciting updates in the interim, including moving (again!) but this time to a house rental and become a second year heme oncology fellow.
This year, we were hoping to go home to my parents for Thanksgiving, but with all the rising COVID19 cases, we decided to cancel that. My parents and I were really disappointed – we haven’t been home for any of the holidays since medical school.
We stayed at home this Thanksgiving, but made up for it with two Thanksgivings. We were able to host a nice Friendsgiving with my co-fellows (despite all of us being second years, this was the first time all 8 of us actually got together which is amazing this happened and still so sad) in mid November.
For the real Thanksgiving, B’s old med school roommate drove up from Portland and stayed with us a few days. I wanted a new dessert I hadn’t done before but something Thanksgiving themed and thought a Pecan Pie Cheesecake would be perfect.
I adapted this version from Baked by an Introvert, but liked her recipe since it was real pecan pie filling for the topping, not just some pecans on top of a cheesecake. I did reduce the sugar and butter a fair amount, especially with the topping, and I felt it was the perfect sweetness.
This turned out a lot more complicated than I anticipated, and since I had to rush at the end, I didn’t have time to freeze the cheesecake to get nice clean slices.
Also, putting pecan pie filling on top of a freshly baked cheesecake that’s still warm and soft led to the middle collapsing (which is why the center is full of nuts, instead of nice even layers). I’m not sure how to avoid that collapse since the pecan pie part still needs to bake in the oven. However, it didn’t stop it from tasting excellent.
Pecan Pie Cheesecake
Ingredients (makes a 6 inch cheesecake)
1 cups graham cracker crumbs, crushed
3 tablespoons cup light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
11/4 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix the crushed graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter together. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300ºF.
In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Mix in the eggs just until combined. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared crust. Bake for 30 minutes. Once the cheesecake goes into the oven, begin working on the topping.
Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it reaches a boil, stirring constantly. Continue to boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while the cheesecake is baking. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and salt together; set aside. Once the cheesecake has baked for 40 minutes, remove it from the oven. Slowly whisk the egg mixture with the cooled sugar syrup until well combined. Stir in the chopped pecans.
Gently spoon the pecan topping over the cheesecake (try to leave any excess syrup behind as it can make the cheesecake soggy).
Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and crisp. (If the edges of the pecan topping are over-browning during baking, cover with foil). Remove cheesecake from oven and cool completely.
Cover the cheesecake and refrigerate or freeze for at least 4 hours before serving (freezing will allow cleaner slices). Once chilled, slowly loosen the sides of the springform pan. Enjoy!