Reader Recipe
White-Bottom Caramel Cream Cheese Pecan Pie

IMAGE: Mary Pat Waldron

$500 Winner: Pecan Pie Category

Joe Phillips | Bryan Texas Utilities

When Joe Phillips says his pie is a mouthful, he’s referring to the name. His rendition of pecan pie also fills the senses for a twist on the traditional. “I love to bake,” he says. To support his culinary experiments, Phillips says he keeps a freezer “full of shelled pecans all the time.”

White Layer
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon heavy cream at room temperature
2 teaspoons sugar
2 ounces white chocolate, chopped

Caramel Mixture
34 caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

Cream Cheese Layer
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature

Pecan Filling
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups whole or chopped Texas pecans

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 1/2-inch glass pie dish. Set crust in pie dish and crimp edges. Set in refrigerator to chill.
  • White layer: Combine cream, sugar and white chocolate in a saucepan over low heat and stir until white chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Spread the white chocolate mixture quickly and evenly over the bottom of the chilled pie crust. Place pie crust in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes or until set.
  • Caramel mixture: Place caramels, 1/4 cup water and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high, removing and stirring at 30-second intervals until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • Cream cheese layer: In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg. Blend with electric mixer, starting with low speed and increasing to high, whipping until smooth. Remove pie crust from freezer. Fold cream cheese mixture over white chocolate layer and spread evenly. Return to refrigerator to chill.
  • Pecan filling: In a separate bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, salt and sugar, blending until well mixed. Add the melted caramel mixture and beat on high speed until well blended. Stir in pecans. Remove pie crust from refrigerator. Slowly pour caramel pecan mix over cream cheese layer, being careful not to disturb the cream cheese.
  • Bake on cookie sheet for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 and bake at least 20 minutes (up to 45 minutes) or until sides are set and center is slightly jiggly. It should set as it cools. When the edge of crust starts to brown, place a crust ring or foil around outside of crimped crust to prevent burning.
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely. When thoroughly cooled, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours to thoroughly chill.
Servings: 12. Serving size: 1 slice. Per serving: 700 calories, 9.61 g protein, 47.60 g fat, 57.26 g carbohydrates, 3.87 g dietary fiber, 275 mg sodium, 41.18 g sugars, 101 mg cholesterol

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