Michelle made an awesome cheesecake for my 50th birthday. She used as a stepping off point, the recipe from WildFlour Pastry bakery in Charleston that was published in Garden and Gun. She made many changes and it resulted in an incredible cheesecake.
To make the caramel – put a sealed can of sweetened condensed milk that you’ve peeled the label off into your slow cooker. Cover entirely with water. Cook on low overnight for about 10 hours. Remove from the water to cool completely before opening.
Bourbon Caramel Pecan Cheesecake
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
4 packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons bourbon
3/4 cup caramel (see above), warmed slightly
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup caramel
2 teaspoons cream (or milk)
2 teaspoons bourbon
1/4 teaspoon salt
whole and chopped toasted and salted pecans for garnish
flake salt for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Pulse the pecans in a food processor until they are finely ground. Add in the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and pulse until combined. Press into the bottom of a greased 10-inch springform pan. Lightly brown crust for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the cheesecake.
Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl whip the softened cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Pour in the sugar and mix to combine. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream until well combined. Mix in vanilla extract and bourbon. Add in the warmed caramel and salt and mix until combined.
Pour into prepared crust. Bake for 3 hours in a low oven. Turn oven off and let cool in oven for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the sides to release from the pan. Let cool in pan on rack another 30 minutes before putting it the refrigerator to cool completely before adding topping, at least three hours. We cooled ours overnight.
Warm the remaining caramel in the microwave. Add to it 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 3 teaspoons of cream (milk would work if you have no cream) and 2 tablespoons of bourbon. Whisk until smooth. Carefully spread on the top of the cheesecake. Top with pecans. Sprinkle with flake salt.
It was a very happy birthday to me!