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Saying Thanks with Pecan Pie Cheesecake

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To the visitor, it would seem as if no change in seasons exist in the British Virgin Islands; that the weather is always exactly the same – and yet in truth, there is such a difference in the last few months of every year.

November brings cooler breezes; some quenching rain showers; and the return of all the beautiful, busy crewed charter yachts.

As some residents of the northern hemisphere embrace—gasp—the prospect of snow and ice, charter yacht crews prepare in anticipation for all the wonderful guests with whom they will have the privilege of sharing these beautiful islands many call home.

November also brings a beloved American holiday that has been adopted all over the world, including the British Virgin Islands – Thanksgiving. Many friends and families from near and far choose to spend this day on-board one of the BVI’s many crewed charter yachts. As often happens—especially when the crewed yacht chefs are involved—this special day has taken on the vibrant and exotic influence of the islands, present in the delectable aromas that fill the picturesque BVI anchorages on that fourth Thursday of November.

No matter what is served, the day’s purpose is to gather family and friends in appreciation for all life’s blessings – and being surrounded by the blessed BVI’s tropical allure makes it just that much easier.

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If you’re looking for gourmet inspiration on this unique day (or any other, for that matter), here is an original Lolalita dessert that is guaranteed to please.

From Sea Level

Pecan Pie Cheesecake with Salted Caramel

Crust:

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup butter, melted

Pecan Pie Layer:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup dark agave syrup

1/3 cup molasses

1/3 cup butter at room temperature

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped medium

1 TSP vanilla extract

Cheesecake Layer:

3 8oz packages of cream cheese at room temperature

1 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 TBSP all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1 TSP vanilla extract

Garnish:

1 cup sugar

6 TBSP salted butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 TSP salt

3/4 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a small mixing bowl. Line the bottom of a 9in springform pan with parchment paper, and press mixture into bottom, making sure it is level. Bake for 5 minutes and let cool.

In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, agave syrup, molasses, butter, eggs, pecans and vanilla to a boil over medium-to-high heat, stirring constantly with a rubber or silicone spatula. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly until thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour mixture over graham cracker crust and set aside.

Beat the cream cheese until there are no lumps. Add the brown sugar and flour, beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then cream and vanilla. Pour cheesecake mixture over pecan filling. Place springform pan on a cookie sheet on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325ºF and bake for 30 minutes. Turn off oven and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 1 hour. Run a knife around the edges to release the sides from the springform pan, but do not remove the cheesecake from the pan. Let it cool to room temperature, cover the top loosely with aluminium foil, and place in the refrigerator overnight.

In a small saucepan, heat granulated sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber or silicone spatula. Sugar will form into lumps and eventually melt to a caramel-coloured liquid. Add butter one piece at a time, stirring constantly. Slowly drizzle in heavy cream, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in salt. Allow to cool before using.

When you’re ready to serve, slice cheesecake into 8 – 12 even pieces and drizzle plates with cooled caramel. Place cheesecake on plates and decorate with whole pecans. You’re welcome to add extra caramel – the more the merrier.

Buen Provecho

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Megan Schlobohm, Chef - SV Lolalita

Megan Schlobohm, Chef - SV Lolalita

Chef at Lolalita SV
Chef Megan from Atlanta, Georgia of the US decided to join the sailing world very soon after her years in academic education and prior to her admission, developed a fierce passion for cooking. Perfecting her menu on various yachts, most of her phenomenal culinary abilities are self-taught, bringing innovative cuisine to Crewed Yacht Lolalita in the BVI.
Megan Schlobohm, Chef - SV Lolalita
Megan Schlobohm, Chef - SV Lolalita

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