Wy Livingston is the founder of Wystone's World Teas. But she loves to cook, and makes incredible desserts. This holiday season she shared her recipe for the best cheesecake you've ever tasted!
For the Crust:
1/2 cup ginger snap crumbs (14 cookies)
1/2 cup vanilla wafer crumbs (20 cookies)
1/4 cup Lorna doone or any shortbread cookie (10 cookies)
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans - save half for the topping
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the Sweet potato pie filling:
2 medium baked sweet potatoes
1/4-1/2 cup of sugar to your sweetness
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup half and half
1 tablespoon flour
For the Cream cheese filling:
3 packages of Philly cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon flour
2 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Sour Cream Topping:
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the crust, blend using a food processor or crumble by hand, all the cookies, 1/2 of the toasted pecans, sugar, and melted butter . The consistency should be course corn meal like so when pressed between your fingers, it will hold together. If it doesn't, add a tablespoon of butter at a time until it does. Press into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands and the back of a teaspoon, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
To make the Sweet potato filling:
Bake the sweet potatoes about an hour at 350 degrees or until soft. Let them cool and then peel them.
Combine all the ingredients for the sweet potato filling and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
For the Sour cream topping:
Blend all Sour cream topping ingredients by hand. Just fold them in an mix well and set aside until your cheesecake is baked.
For the Cheesecake filling:
Cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Or I put everything in my food processor and pulse until light and creamy. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour half the filling into the cooled crust.
Gently pour the sweet potato mixture that you have already prepared on top of the cheesecake mixture and then gently pour the remaining cheesecake mixture on top of the sweet potato mixture. You should have 3 layers.
Bake for 1 hour . The cake should be soft but firm to touch in the middle. Take the cake out the oven and gently pour the sour cream mixture on top of the cake and sit back in the oven for 5 minutes.
Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 1-2 hours, until completely cooled. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Pop the spring on the side of the pan and leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.
Before you are ready to serve, sprinkle the remaining toasted pecans on top.
Note: Measure your springform pan. The bottom of mine measures 9 inches, but it says 9 1/2. You caN put the springform pan on a sheet pan before putting it in the oven to catch any leaks if this is your first cheesecake.