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Pecan and Salted Caramel Cheesecake Recipe

Pecan and Salted Caramel Cheesecake
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: | Makes: 12 servings

A classic cheesecake recipe gets dressed up with salted caramel and a bit of crunch.

Game plan: Start with all the ingredients (except the heavy cream) at room temperature.

INGREDIENTS

For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the cheesecake:

  • 2 pounds (4 [8-ounce] packages) cream cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the caramel:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

To assemble:

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 large pinch sea salt
INSTRUCTIONS
For the crust:

  1. Heat the oven to 325ºF and arrange a rack in the middle. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Evenly press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared springform pan; set aside.

For the cheesecake:

  1. Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until light, airy, and smooth. Add the yolk and then the eggs one at a time, mixing completely after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix until blended.
  2. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean and the center of the cheesecake is just set, about 40 minutes. Turn off the oven, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the cheesecake cool completely.

For the caramel:

  1. Stir together the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Let boil until the mixture turns amber in color, about 3 minutes. Immediately add the butter and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat, add the cream, and mix well. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

To assemble:

  1. Pour the caramel over the cooled cheesecake, then scatter the pecan pieces and sea salt over the top.

Beverage pairing: Blandy’s 5 Year Old Bual Madeira, Portugal. Bual is a fairly full-bodied style of Madeira, dark and deeply flavored of nuts, chocolate, and molasses, which pairs well with this dessert. The wine’s surprising acidity, though, will make for a nice counter to the cheesecake’s richness. Serve slightly chilled.