Pecan-Praline Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce
Recipe from Food & Wine

You can use store-bought pralines to make the crust for this fluffy cheesecake, but Big Sugar's quick praline recipe is worth the extra effort, as is the buttery caramel sauce that gets pooled on top.


Quentin Bacon

by 4  people


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Servings: 16
Prep Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins
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Ingredients
    CRUST:
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      1/2  cup 
      pecan halves
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      1   stick 
      plus 1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
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      1/3  cup 
      plus 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
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      2   tablespoons 
      light brown sugar
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      1 1/2  tablespoons 
      heavy cream
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      1   
      salt
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      2   
      packets graham crackers, crushed (about 10 ounces)
    FILLING:
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      1   pound 
      full-fat cream cheese, softened
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      1   cup 
      granulated sugar
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      3   
      large eggs
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      1   teaspoon 
      pure vanilla extract
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      24   ounces 
      full-fat sour cream
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      Caramel Sauce, for serving

    Directions
    1.
    MAKE THE CRUST: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wrap the outside of a 10-inch round springform pan with foil.
    2.
    In a medium bowl, toss the pecans with 1/2 teaspoon of the butter, 1/2 tablespoon of the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, the cream, and salt. Spread the nuts on the prepared baking sheet and arrange them, right side up in a single layer. Bake for about 18 minutes, until the sugar is caramelized and the pecans are toasted. Let cool.
    3.
    Transfer all but 12 of the pecans to a food processor. Add the graham crackers and pulse until finely ground. Add the remaining stick of melted butter and 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and pulse until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs over the bottom of the pan and two-thirds of the way up the side of the prepared springform pan.
    4.
    MAKE THE FILLING: In a clean food processor, pulse the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and pulse until incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Pulse in the vanilla and sour cream. Scrape the batter into the pan and bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour, until the top of the cheesecake is lightly golden in spots and the center is slightly jiggly. Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool completely. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
    5.
    Unwrap the cheesecake and discard the foil. Remove the ring and transfer the cake to a plate. Arrange the 12 reserved pecans on top. Using a warm, slightly moistened knife, cut the cake into wedges, wiping and rewetting the blade between slices. Transfer the slices to plates and pour some of the Caramel Sauce on top. Serve with the remaining Caramel Sauce.
    MAKE AHEAD:

    1.
    The cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
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