In a small mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds or until softened. Add brown sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and beat until fluffy. Add the 1-1/4 cups flour and the pecans. Beat mixture until just combined (dont overbeat the mixture). With floured hands, pat the dough onto the bottom and 1-1/2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan to form a firm, even crust.Advertisement
Bake the cheesecake crust in a 350 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool crust on a wire rack while preparing the filling.
In a medium saucepan, stir together the 1 cup granulated sugar and the cornstarch. Stir in the cranberries and the 1 cup orange juice. Cook and stir the mixture over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir sauce for 2 minutes more. Remove half of the sauce (3/4 cup) and let cool slightly at room temperature. Cover and chill the remaining cranberry sauce in the refrigerator until serving time.
Place the 3/4 cup cooled sauce in a food processor bowl or blender container. Cover and process or blend sauce until its smooth. Set the mixture aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar, the carton of sour cream, and the 2 tablespoons flour. Beat mixture with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until combined. Add eggs all at once. Beat until just combined (dont overbeat). Stir in the whipping cream, orange peel, the 1 tablespoon juice, and the 1 teaspoon vanilla (filling will be slightly thin).
Pour about half of the filling into the crust-lined springform pan. Drizzle pureed sauce over the filling in the pan. Carefully top with the remaining filling, covering sauce as much as possible. Place springform pan in a shallow baking pan on the oven rack. Bake cheesecake in a 350 degree F oven for about 1 hour or until the center of the cheesecake appears nearly set when pan is gently shaken.
Remove the springform pan from the baking pan. Cool the cheesecake in the springform pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, loosen the crust from the sides of the pan; cool cheesecake for 30 minutes more. Remove the sides of the pan. Cool cheesecake completely. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving.
Just before serving, top wedges of the chilled cheesecake with some of the chilled cranberry sauce and a dollop of the remaining 1/2 cup sour cream. Pass the remaining sauce.
To make up to 1 day ahead, prepare and bake cheesecake. Cool and chill as directed. To serve top with the cranberry sauce and 1/2 cup sour cream.