Saturday, November 14, 2009

who eats pecan-pie-cheesecake with their hands?

08 So, as typical Fridays go, I baked! I recently just bought my first spring form pan and needed a reason to use to. I’ve made cheesecake before (Twix flavored), but I wanted this to be different. Pecan pies are my boyfriend's favorite, and I coincidentally stumbled upon a pecan-pie-cheesecake recipe! How convenient...two birds with one stone.

So after reading this person's blog, she stated how the cheesecake filling was very small and she was afraid it wouldn't be enough. Eventually it rose as it bakes so she was happy with the results. Needless to say, this was the opposite case for me. Let me start from the beginning first though...

I started with the crust obviously. I tried my ultimate hardest to make the sides go up evenly and make a straight edge along the sides, but of course it seemed impossible. See, my biggest thing is that I LOVE thick crust... especially crust that goes all the way up the sides. Anyways, then I blind baked it in the oven... yada yada... Now on to the filling.

Does this look appetizing to you? Because it sure doesn't for me. I was reading and rereading the instructions over a million times to make sure I was doing it right. It wasn't "thickening" but it seemed thick enough for filling I guess. (PS I did toast the pecans like I always do with nuts now). So as I’m stirring for 10 or so minutes, I'm beginning to doubt myself and this damned cheesecake. However, I had to finish this, so I poured it into the baked crust as stated, and proceeded to the cheesecake part.

No pictures of that... But- I should note things that I would have liked to do differently. First, not have let the pecan pie filling sit so long in the crust. I spent quite a while trying to make the cheesecake part and I think by letting it seep for so long was the downfall in my crust (I’ll get to that later). Also, I think I might have beaten the cheesecake part too much. I recently got my first hand mixer, so of course I've been obsessed with it ever since. I should have only mixed the cream cheese with the mixer and the rest by hand- because, at the end, there were many bubbles and I couldn't get rid of them. These bubbles also must have caused my huge crack down the center (which I immediately covered with whipped cream so nobody would notice). Third and most obvious, this cake was not a "little amount" as stated on the blog that I read! Not only did it seem like an excessive amount, it proved to be a more than excessive amount. While pouring it in the spring form pan, it reached the top, and I still had some remaining in my mixing bowl! I had to throw out the rest of it because it would just overfill the pan. I also was afraid it would "rise" as also stated in the blog and it would overflow into my oven and be a big mess and oh boy... I had such a great time staring into my dirty oven door with a flashlight (my oven doesn't have a light) because rules for cheesecake specifically state NO OPENING DOORS. What a great time for me...

And we come to this... The final product. It didn't overflow (thank god) and the top browned just nicely on the edges. Don't get me started on the crack in the center though. I brought this over to my boyfriend's house last night, and forced him to keep his paws off until this morning. I wanted a thorough "rest" for this as instructions stated (especially after my apple pie mishap), and more importantly I wanted daytime lighting for better picturing (hehe).

See, you can't even tell it had a huge gash down the center (that just tore my heart apart). But luckily I did have just enough whipped cream for the top to barely cover. I also think the pecans (toasted, of course) give a cute touch on the edges- I’m a sucker for cuteness. PS- what really ticked me off is the fact I didn't have anything to cover the cake as I ran from my car to his house in the rain, thus the patted-looking raindrop indentations on the top... GRRR! And also my boyfriend must love ticking me off because he got his finger and took a huge swipe of whipped cream off the top. I just stood there staring at him, as if I hadn't spent all day trying to make it look pretty. Look, I don't ask for much in our relationship- the only thing is that let me take a photo of the food I make before you mess it up. LOL... I'm such a brat.

So, now on to the only noticeable problem... the pecan-pie-filling... well, the problem was really only on the edges. See where it rises up near the crust? - Well that's where it got to be so hard to cut a slice that my boyfriend had to do it for me. It was completely edible and quite tasty at that... but you just had to pick it up with your hands and eat it like a cracker lol. Not sure if this was due to the pie + crust sitting together so long as I made the cheesecake part, but I guess we'll never know.

This would have been a much better photo if the damn pecan-pie-filling gunk which seeped into the graham cracker crust didn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

My delicious slice. I did have to pick up the tiny bit of crust-pie-junk with my hands and eat it like a cookie, just as everyone else did, lol. But, regardless of that, everyone seemed to really have enjoyed it. Yayy for me! A (slight) success for once.

Taken from Taste of the South

1+3/4 cup vanilla wafer crumbs (I used graham crackers, about 2 cups)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine crumbs and brown sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9" spring form pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.

pecan filling:
1 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
2/3 cup dark corn syrup (I used light, which is why I switched to brown sugar)
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1+1/2 cup chopped pecans (toasted!, of course)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into crust and set aside.

cheesecake filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1+1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons AP flour
4 eggs
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Reduce oven to 325 degrees. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add brown sugar and flour and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Stir in cream and vanilla.
2. Pour over pecan filling. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven with the door closed for 1 hour.
3. Remove from oven and run a knife along the outside edges to loosen cheesecake from sides of pan. Let cool. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

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