White Pepper Praline Cheesecake

Who puts pepper in Cheesecake? The LCBO Food Guide does. This cake takes most of the day to make and is best served the next day. -- JoJo

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Preparation Time Cook Time
1 day 1 day
Ingredients - This recipe makes 1 9 inch cheesecake
1 cup lightly toasted pecan halves
¾ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons white corn syrup
¼ cup water
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
3 225 gram packages cream cheese, room temperature
⅔ cup packed golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
2. Spread pecans out on a parchment-lined baking tray. Sprinkle with white pepper.
3. To make caramel, bring sugar, corn syrup and water to a boil, uncovered. Without stirring, boil sugar mixture until a golden color, occasionally brushing the sides with water. (About 7 minutes). Once color is achieved, carefully pour caramel over pecans to coat. Cool until set (up to 1 hr). Break pralines into shards and pulse in a food processor until crumbly. Or you can just smash them up. Set aside.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 inch spring form pan and place pan on baking tray.
5. Crust:
6. Combine all crust ingredients until evenly blended and crumbly and press into bottom and halfway up the sides of the prepared spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool.
7. Sprinkle bottom of cooled crust with ½ cup pecan praline mixture.
8. Reduce oven to 325 degrees F.
9. Cheesecake:
10. Beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, then gradually add brown sugar while beating, scraping the sides of the bowl often. Beat in cornstarch, vanilla and salt. Add eggs 1 at a time, scraping well after each addition. Scrape half of cheesecake filling into the crust and sprinkle with 1 cup of pecan praline. Spread remaining cheesecake filling and sprinkle top with remaining ½ cup of pecan praline. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn oven off and leave cheesecake in for 15 minutes more. Remove cheesecake from oven to cool to room temperature. Chill overnight before serving.
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