so it was the week before thanksgiving and all through the house…wait, wrong story…well, it was the week before thanksgiving and i got completely derailed from my plan of posting this before the holiday. it ultimately ended up being done in time for thanksgiving but sadly, not in time for anyone to see and attempt it. hopefully, you will forgive me and then run out and buy the ingredients to try and bake one for the next big holiday celebration.
remember last year’s big thing-cherpumple cakes? when i saw them posted all over the internet, i wanted to try one. then i saw the recipe-frozen pies and cake mix…major disappointment! no time to play with that many scratch recipes this week. instead i decided to bake my own version based on things my family enjoys. there was one holiday season that after baking about a bejillion pies in the cafe, i refused to make any for our annual thanksgiving trash can turkey extravaganza. needless to say, even though they enjoyed the pumpkin cheesecake i baked, they missed having a pie on the table. this year i decided to combine two pies with a cheesecake and see what would happen.
word of warning, this is not a quick dessert. to do it right, right meaning so that it doesn’t fall apart, it will take you more than a day to complete, possibly 2 to 3 evenings if you have limited time to work on it. another important note, i never use springform pans or a water bath to bake cheesecakes!!! this recipe uses heavy gauge cake pans and if you follow the directions, the cake will work just fine. you may even want to consider baking your cheesecakes in a cake pan all the time; it is so much easier to use than a springform pan and a water bath!
first step was to make half of a pecan pie in a 6″ cake pan. it was so cute! after baking it, i chilled it completely so that i could take it out of the pan without destroying it. by gently warming the bottom over very low heat on the stove, i was able to turn the cold pecan pie out in one piece. since the crust stood a little taller than the filling and got a little dark, i carefully cut it off using a serrated knife.
the cheesecake filling was quickly assembled in the food processor. the cookie crust was pressed into a 10″ cake pan. i set the pecan pie in the center of the crust and carefully ladled in the cheesecake filling. it was baked and then completely chilled overnight before i set out to make the turtle pie topping.
the cheesecake is removed from the pan using the same method as the pecan pie. cover a flat platter with plastic wrap and lightly spray it with pan spray. gently warm the bottom of the cake pan, place the prepared platter upside-down over the cheesecake and invert it. the cheesecake should slowly slide out of the pan. then you can place your serving plate onto the bottom of the cake and invert it again. sounds tricky but it works!
neatly spread the hot caramel over the cheesecake portion of the cake. spread it out evenly. then back into the fridge to chill it so the chocolate topping can go on. the chocolate topping is made very quickly in the microwave and is easily applied to the pie with a piping bag.
1 (14) ounce can sweetened condensed milk
heat the oven to 350. pour the sweetened condensed milk into a small covered casserole dish. place the dish in a pan of water so that the water comes up to the same height as the milk. carefully place in the oven and bake. every 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and whisk the milk completely to ensure even caramelization. this will take about 2 hours and during that last 30 minutes, you may have to do this a little more often to prevent scorching. using the photos above as a guide, top the cheesecake portion (after you have taken the cake out of the pan!!!) with the caramel. chill completely before topping it with the chocolate mixture.
and now that my food coma is lifting, bake one and send me a photo-i will post it here! firstname.lastname@example.org