Where all of Grandmother's favorite recipes are found, just like Grandmother makes them, with a little love.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Lightly grease a 9" or 11" springform pan with butter on the bottom and sides.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Shut off and set aside.
In a mixing bowl stir together the graham crumbs, toasted pecans and brown sugar.
Stir in the melted butter.
Stir in the egg yolk and the vanilla. Use your fingertips to rub the crust mixture together to be sure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Press the crust into the springform pan.
Place into the preheated oven and bake 8-10 minutes. Remove and place onto a cooling rack.
Turn the oven down to 325F.
Place the cream cheese, butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat together on medium to high speed until light and fluffy.
Add the sour cream, cornstarch and vanilla and mix in until you have a creamy smooth mixture.
Pour the filling onto the crust.
Place into the oven and bake for 60 minutes.
Remove and place onto a cooling rack. The middle will be jiggly in the center when you remove it from the oven. Leave to set until it reaches room temperature then place it into the over overnight or for at least 6 hours before you slice it. Cover the pan with plastic wrap.
Place the sugar into a medium size saucepan. Add the water and cook over medium heat bringing to a rapid boil. Let it boil for about 10 minutes until it turns a golden amber color. It should read 350F on a candy thermomometer.
Carefully pour in the cream. It will bubble up like crazy so be sure you have chosen a deep saucepan for this.
Whisk the cream until the sauce comes together.
Turn off the heat and mix in the vanilla.
Let cool to room temperature before using. Sauce thickens up as it cools.
When you are ready to serve the cheesecake, remove the ring from the sides, drizzle the caramel sauce onto the cake top, garnish with toasted pecan halves, slice and serve.