It’s Fantastical Food Fight time, hosted by Sarah at a Fantastical Sharing of Recipes.
As often is the case, the challenge really stretched me this month. The theme was Pecan Pie.
Would you believe that I’ve never really had Pecan Pie? It’s on the table every thanksgiving (my mom makes one), but it looks so unappetizing, I’ve just never taken more than a bite – especially since there’s also always homemade pumpkin (my favorite) and apple pies!
So, then the Pecan Pie challenge rolls around and I just couldn’t bring myself to make a whole pecan pie (I always wish it had a more caramel flavor than it does).
How about, I thought, a pecan pie version of cheesecake? Because I always love cheesecake. And why make a full sized cheesecake if we can make a mini. Because mini cheesecake is adorable, and much more manageable when Hubs and I are the only ones who eat it.
So how was it?
I was ready to gift the second mini cheesecake to the neighbors (it was tasty, but rich and I wasn’t sure we needed 2 cheesecakes) but Hubs was all like, Oh no you don’t – this thing is delicious!
For me, the silky smooth cheesecake helped temper the overly sweet pecan pie, making it the perfect combination. This is a must-try variation of a Thanksgiving favorite!
This recipe makes 2 mini cheese cakes (baked in 4-inch springform pans). Double to make an 8-inch cheesecake.
Pecan Pie Mini Cheesecakes
Adapted from Closet Cooking
2/3 cups crushed graham crackers (4 whole crackers)
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
Scant ¼ cup light corn syrup
4 teaspoons butter, melted
1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup pecans, toasted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Salted Caramel Sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the crust, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and butter. Divide the mixture between two 4-inch springform pans. Use the bottom of a flat glass to press the crumbs tightly to the bottom and sides of the pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove and cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
To make the pecan pie filling, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, egg, and vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened, around 8 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the toasted pecans. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Once cooled, Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans.
To make the cheesecake, place the cream cheese and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium until smooth.
Add the egg and beat until well combined. Finally, add the sour cream and vanilla and stir until smooth.
Divide the cheesecake between the two pans. Wrap the bottom of each pan in foil. Place the cheeesecakes onto a rimmed baking sheet. Add ½-inch of water.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Cheesecake should be just beginning to brown on top and slightly jiggly. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, if needed.
Remove cheesecakes from the water bath and cool on the counter until they reach room temperature. Once cooled, move to the refrigerator and cool overnight.
To serve, top with caramel sauce (optional) and additional pecan halves.