Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 50 min + rising time
Cook Time: 1 hr, 45 min
ROASTED SWEET POTATOES:
1 1/2 pounds dark orange- fleshed sweet potatoes such as jewel or red garnet (sometimes sold as yams)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, regular or light, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 375°F (convection not recommended).
2. Peel sweet potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Place in a 9x 13-inch baking pan and brush with melted butter. Bake until potatoes are soft when pressed, 45 to 55 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare crust: Whirl pecans in blender until finely ground; you should have 1/4 cup. In a bowl, mix pecans, graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Pour into 9-inch cheesecake pan with removable rim (2 1/4-inches tall). Press mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Bake in same oven with potatoes until lightly browned all over, 10 to 12 minutes.
4. Scrape any charred spots off potatoes, then cut potatoes into chunks. Whirl in food processor or mash in a bowl with lemon juice until smooth. Reserve 1 cup; save any extra for another use.
5. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
6. In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in granulated and brown sugars, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally, until mixture is well blended and smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Add reserved sweet potato mixture, the whipping cream, sour cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Mix on low speed until well blended.
7. Wrap bottom of cheesecake pan with a double layer of heavy-duty foil, pressing it up the sides. Pour batter over crust. Put cheesecake pan in a 12 by 15-inch roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Set pans in oven and pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cheesecake pan.
8. Bake until cake barely jiggles in the center when gently shaken, about 55 minutes. Remove pans from oven. Lift cheesecake pan from roasting pan and let cool completely on a rack, about 1 hour, then chill until cold, at least 1 1/2 hours, or up to 3 days (cover once cold).
9. Up to 6 hours before serving, cut around inside of pan rim to release cake; remove rim. Prepare maple cream: In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. On low speed, beat in maple syrup just until blended. With a pastry bag, pipe dollops of maple cream separately, to spoon onto each wedge.
*You can make this cheesecake up to 3 days ahead; cover and chill. Garnish with whipped cream up to 6 hours before serving; cover and chill until serving.
Source: RecipeGirl.com (via Sunset)