Maple-Bacon Cheesecake

When I was at the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival I met a Chef that appreciates bacon as much as I do. His name is Lance Avery; he is the Corporate Executive Chef for Sara Lee. Lance created a Maple-Bacon and Pumpkin Cheesecake that was out of this world. After taking only one bite I ran up to him and said, “You have to give me this recipe, the world must know how good this is”. He gladly said yes, so without anymore rambling here is the recipe.

Maple-Bacon & Pumpkin Cheesecake
with Templeton Rye Bacon Walnut Glaze

twenty-four 5 by 2½ -inch graham crackers
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)

In a food processor finely grind graham crackers (you will have about 3 1/2 cups). Cut the butter into 8 pieces. Using the food processor, add the butter and syrup into the ground grahams until fully distributed. Press the grahams evenly into bottom and up side of a 10-inch spring form pan. Pre bake the crust (for crispier crust) in a 325º oven for 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before filling.

four 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ cup heavy cream
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 slices of Jimmy Dean Center Piece Bacon – Maple 31634, cooked again until super crispy, then let cool before crumbling into tiny pieces

With mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in the syrup, then add the eggs one a time. Finish the mix by adding the remaining ingredients (except bacon) and mix well. Sprinkle the pre-baked crust with half of the crumbled bacon. Pour the filling over the bacon. Sprinkle the remaining bacon on the top. Bake at 325º for 1 1/4 hours or until center appears nearly set when shaken. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving, preferably overnight.

Templeton Rye Bacon Walnut Glaze
1 cup cream
¾ cup maple syrup
½ cup Templeton Rye Whiskey
4 slices of Jimmy Dean Center Piece Bacon – Maple 31634
½ cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
Boil the cream, syrup, and whiskey together for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bacon and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Pass the liquid through a strainer to remove the bacon. Place in a blender with the walnut and blend on high until thickened and smooth. Cover and chill until served. Stir before serving.

If you are wondering what Templeton Rye is, it’s the whiskey Al Capone used to drink during prohibition. You can only get it in Iowa and some parts of Illinois. If you are in an area and can’t get Templeton I am sure you can use something else.

If anyone makes this let me know what you think about it. I thought it was amazing and I am going to try to play baker and make this. I will let you know how it turns out.

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