Vanilla Pecan Pie

No holiday meal would be complete without dessert, pie or cake being the choice of many people. But some are divided on what is the better.

Fans of cake cite its sweetness and melt-in-your-mouth qualities. Pie lovers will counter that pie is sweet, too, but in a more subtle and complex way. Plus it has a delicious crust.

For those two different camps, I suggest a combination of the two, such as the following from McCormick, in which cheesecake meets pecan pie in a smooth and decadent seasonal dessert.

Vanilla Pecan Pie
1 pie crust
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 eggs, divided
¾ cup sugar, divided
4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
½ cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups pecan pieces, toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare crust using 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Beat cream cheese, 1 of the eggs, ¼ cup of the sugar and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well-blended and smooth. Spread evenly on bottom of crust. Bake 15 minutes.
Beat remaining 2 eggs and ½ cup sugar in large bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Add corn syrup, butter, remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla and salt; stir until well-blended. Sprinkle pecans evenly over baked cream cheese layer. Slowly pour corn syrup mixture over nuts.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until just set in center. Cool completely on wire rack.
Yield: Serves 10.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 506 calories, 34 grams fat, 43 grams carbohydrates, 96 milligrams cholesterol, 307 milligrams sodium. 2 grams dietary fiber, 7 grams protein.