Pecan Crusted Cheesecake

For some reason, it has been one of those weeks where time seems to move uber slow. I know everyone says "time goes by too quickly," "savor the moment," etc, etc, but when all I want to do is go outside and play it makes it hard! Therefore, I'd like to dedicate this post to Spotify, the real MVP of my week. I've mastered the "one headphone in my ear while listening with the other" method at work. This means that I can listen to my favorite songs and periodically dance around in my chair before awkwardly realizing everyone can see me moving. I mean, if I knew you were going to watch me I would sing too. Would that be weird? It'd probably be a little weird.

In other news, there is a great debate in my office about desserts. There have been many, intense conversations about whether pies, cookies, cakes, etc are the ultimate dessert. Is it weird that I don't have a preference? Pre-Paleo I would have killed someone for a blueberry angel food cake from McKenzie's Bakery back home (maybe I still would. that's debatable), but now I realize that limiting myself to one particular dessert just holds me back from trying so many delicious recipes. That would be doing a disservice to all the bakers and cooks out there, would it not? I will say, when I was younger, I never really enjoyed cheesecake. For some reason, I imagined someone taking a wheel of gouda and just mashing it down and throwing it on graham cracker crust before popping it in the oven. I get it, my perception was grossly skewed. Now that I'm older and wiser, I appreciate the simplicity and creaminess of this dessert.  

While I don't indulge in cheesecake often, because I
 try to avoid dairy being a regular staple in my diet, when I do take the plunge with dairy, I make sure it is high quality. This means it is organic, full-fat, from pasture-raised cows, etc. This is important because it ensures the dairy contains more healthy saturated fats and a greater amount of essential vitamins. If I can find the good stuff, I like to use it to make a delicious dairy-involved dessert. Settled in a pecan crust, this is my version of a Paleo/Primal friendly cheesecake. It's free of crappy dairy, refined sugars, grains & gluten, just the way I like it.


Pecan Crusted Cheesecake

Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8-12 slices

Crust Ingredients:
1 ½ cups pecans, crushed
1 egg white
4 tbs butter or coconut oil, melted
2 tbs maple syrup
1 ½ tsp each vanilla & cinnamon
dash of salt
Filling Ingredients:
3 8oz packs cream cheese, organic full-fat
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
⅓ cup raw honey
2 tbs sour cream, organic
Steps:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Use a food processor or blender to roughly chop your pecans.
  3. Combine all crust ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  4. Press the crust mixture evenly along the bottom and sides of a lightly greased deep-dish pie pan*
  5. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes
  6. While the crust is baking, combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Using a hand or stand mixer, combine well.
  7. Pour filling into your crust and place your cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter for at least 30 minutes.
  9. Eat the warm cheesecake (I won't judge you). Or place it in the fridge to chill and eat when it tastes even better.

Note: You can make this in a regular pie pan, but you may have leftover filling. If there is any, pour it into cupcake liners and bake for 30-40 minutes as mini crust-less cheesecakes!