Butter Tart Base
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Have the cooled butter tart bar base at hand in its springform pan.
- Beat the cream cheese in a bowl using electric beaters, or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on high speed until fluffy. Add the brown sugar and beat well on high speed until dissolved, stopping to scrape down the bowl occasionally.
- Add the maple syrup and beat again on high speed, scraping the bowl. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat again on high until smooth. This is the final step to ensure there are no lumps in the mixture, so scrape the bowl well.
- Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs 1 at a time and then the yolk, beating well after each addition (and yes, scraping down the bowl). Stir in the pecan pieces by hand. Pour over the cooled butter tart base.
Bake and Serve
- Bake for about one hour, until the cheesecake jiggles in the centre but is set around the outside. (It will still look a little shiny on the surface at the centre.) Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
- Carefully run a palette knife around the inside edge of the pan (this will prevent cracks from developing as the cheesecake cools). Once the cake has cooled to room temperature (check by touching the bottom of the pan, not the sides), chill the cheesecake, uncovered, for at least six hours, or overnight.
- To serve the cake, run a palette knife around the inside of the pan again and then loosen and remove the springform ring. Run your palette knife under the base of the cheesecake to loosen it from the bottom of the pan. Carefully slide the cake onto a serving plate.
Make-Ahead Tip: You can store the baked but undecorated cheesecake in its pan, well-wrapped, in the fridge for up to 4 days. It can be frozen, undecorated and well-wrapped, for up to three months. Thaw the cake in the fridge overnight before decorating and serving.
Add Sparkle: To decorate the cheesecake, you can top it simply with sweetened whipped cream or sweeten it up even more by adding a few toasted pecan halves.