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Pecan cheesecake pie take 2..... perfect!!

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I made my second iteration of the pecan pie with a cheesecake layer to share with friends over New Year's Day dinner.   We also had a lamb roast that had been given to me by a local restaurateur friend who was going out of business and had it pre-cooked in the freezer.   I jumped at this because I love properly cooked lamb, and he's one of very few people I know other than myself who cooks it properly.   It went on the kamado frozen solid a few weeks ago for a nice surface smoke with willow.....green twigs, for an awesome light smoke flavor.  It didn't stay there long enough to thaw at the time, as I  didn't want to cook it further than the medium rare Bill typically does.   At dinner, on New Year's day, I had it fully thawed, and we sliced it and lightly steamed the slices to bring them up to eating temp, no more.   Tender and moist, with a lightly smoked rind, it was to die for!!

 

The pie had a conventional crust........ which I made using Krustez mix, as I hate messing with shortening, and their product produces a lovely flaky crust with just the right proportions and very little work

 

For once in my life I followed a recipe............ From Bunny's Warm Oven website.  It just seemed right........ well, I actually took a few "liberties"

 

The cream cheese was home made a week ago using a process where a culture of fresh home made kefir as well as a limited amount of rennet was placed  in a pot of warm whole milk and heavy cream, and allowed to work for 24 hours.    I cut the curd to about 1" squares, about 8 hours in, and after 24 hours I put it into a cheese muslin to drain, hanging in an 80F environment for another 24 hours, then removed and salted it lightly, and left it for another 12 hours.   The result was a nice tangy cream cheese, unlike anything you buy in the store.

 

A weighed out 8 oz of this cream cheese, one egg, and 1/4c sugar and 2t vanilla were beaten together for the cream cheese layer.    I wasn't happy with this as it was a bit more liquid than I liked, so it went into a double boiler, and I cooked it awhile until it began to thicken up  nicely. 

 

The cheese mixture was spread in the pie crust, after I cooled it a bit, and it was liberally sprinkled with chopped crystal ginger (NOT IN THE RECIPE).   

 

The first layer was baked 15 min at 350F,  then the pie was removed, and the pecan pie filling added (below) which I had made during that 15 min was added on top.  

 

2 eggs, 1/2 C brown sugar (recipe calls for white), 1/2C corn syrup, 3T melted butter 2t vanilla, and 1/4t salt whisked together

 

I sprinkled the pecans over the cheesecake layer.........no quantity listed so I did the "TLAR" method (that looks about right), and poured the filling on top

 

Baked for 35-40  min at 350 and chilled

 

The result was wonderful, with the  tangy cheesecake layer.......... and it was tangy, not super sweet, the bits of crystal ginger gave it delightful little bursts of flavor.    The pecan layer was sweet, but not excessively, and was delightfully crunchy. There was almost none of the usual rich sweet gelatinous stuff under the pecans.     It was a study in contrasts that was almost irresistible!

 

Unfortunately I didn't get any photos......... It was gone too fast!!

 

*****    I will repeat this, but in the next iteration, I will reduce the cheesecake layer just a bit and add a bit more of the pecan pie filling to try to achieve  more distinct middle layer.  This recipe filled the shell completely, making me wish I had pie plates with taller sides so I could increase the middle layer without robbing any of the cheesecake layer which was so delightful.   I may shop for a suitable pan.

 

                                                                                      H.W.

 

Here is a link to the original recipe:    Bunny's Pecan Cream Cheese Pie

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