This Pecan Pie Cheesecake is an easy no-bake recipe! It has a silky, smooth filling that rests lightly on its buttery cookie crust, and when glazed with a nutty topping, it creates the perfect party-pleaser.
2cupspecan roughly chopped (measure and then chop)
½cup(1 stick) salted butter
1cupdark brown sugarpacked
¾cuphalf and half
To make the crust, put the cookies in a food processor and crush until they are fully crumbled, about 1 minute. Pour in the melted butter and pulse to combine. You should have a slightly wet crumb mixture.
Pour the crumbs into a 9-inch springform pan and press them down into an even layer with a slightly raised edge. Place in the fridge and chill for 10-15 minutes.
While the crust is chilling, make the cheesecake layer in a stand mixer by whipping the cream cheese and brown sugar together until soft and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the sour cream and vanilla and beat until completely combined, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula about halfway through to make sure everything is well mixed.
Fold in the whipped topping with a spatula, scraping the sides of the bowl until you have a fully even, smooth cream. Scoop into your set crust and even it out with your spatula. Cover the pan and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
About an hour before serving your cheesecake, make the pecan topping. Begin by placing the pecans in a large skillet and bring to medium heat. Stir or toss the nuts every 20-30 seconds so they don’t burn. Cook until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and place them on a plate. They will be added back in later.
Melt the butter in the warm skillet over low heat. Once melted, add in the dark brown sugar and nutmeg and stir to combine. Heat until the mixture begins to bubble, stirring continuously.
Remove your skillet from the heat and slowly add in the half and half. Be sure to stir or whisk continuously until you have a smooth mixture.
Pour in the toasted pecans. Stir well and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes as the topping cools.
Let cool to room temperature but do not refrigerate. The topping will thicken as it cools but will harden if chilled.
Pour on top of cheesecake just before serving. Enjoy!
To Store: The cheesecake can be stored, covered for 3-5 days; the topping can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, for 1-2 days.
To Freeze: The cheesecake can be frozen, if well wrapped, for up to 3 months.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can make the crumbs for the crust by putting your cookies in a ziploc bag and rolling over them with a rolling pin.
It’s really important that your cream cheese is room temperature--I would set the cream cheese out about 30 minutes before making the cheesecake. If the cream cheese is too cold it will not blend smoothly and you will end up with little lumps in your cheesecake.
Pack your crust really well so you get nice clean pieces that hold together. I recommend using the bottom of a glass to help pack it tightly. Be sure that the cream cheese and sugar are completely creamed before adding in the sour cream. If the cream cheese is still lumpy before the sour cream is added, you will likely have lumps in your final product.
Don’t overmix your cheesecake when you add in the whipped topping. It only needs to be just incorporated. It will be lighter and fluffier if it is not overmixed.
Be sure to give your pecans your full attention when toasting them. You don’t want to make a beautiful topping just to have burnt pecans in it! Stir or toss them frequently to get an even toast on them.
Use a whisk to blend the half and half into your topping. Be sure to have the skillet off of the heat before you add in the half and half, otherwise you may scald it and get a bitter taste.
You can make your cheesecake in a 10-inch springform pan, but I don’t recommend using a pan smaller than a 9-inch springform pan because of the amount of filling in the cheesecake.