Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup ground pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese (softened)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 vanilla beans
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a bowl, mix together the crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and ground pecans if you have them. Add the butter and mix well. Press evenly into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake about 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time and then the flour and vanilla extract. Add the eggs and heavy cream, beating on low speed until it is all combined. Split open your vanilla beans and scrape out the seeds and guts inside the bean. Add this to your batter. Save your split beans to garnish the top of the cheesecake.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the middle of the oven until set, the center should be slightly soft. It should bake for 55 to 70 minutes. Remove from the oven, loosen the outer ring and let cool in the pan.
Refrigerate the cake, for about 6 hours, then remove the outer ring. Top with the vanilla beans and a sprig of something green like peppermint leaf.