Before beginning, set all ingredients out on the counter to come to room temperature. This is very important because it ensures a creamy cheesecake.
Preheat the oven to 325ºF and put a large pot of water on to boil. When it reaches a boiling point, pour it into a casserole dish or oven-safe pot, filling halfway, placed on the bottom rack in the oven. This acts as a makeshift water bath and turns the oven into a “steam room.”
To make the crust, in a food processor or high-powered blender, add the graham crackers and pulse until they’re a coarse meal.
Add the butter, brown sugar and salt, and process or mix until combined.
Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
To make the cheesecake filling, add the cream cheese to a bowl and beat with a standing or hand-held mixer for 30 seconds or until smooth. Add the sugar and cream together for about 1 minute.
Crack the eggs into a separate bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the cream cheese mixture, scraping the side of the bowl after each addition.
Add the sour cream, heavy cream, cinnamon and vanilla, and beat until everything is mixed well. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the crust in the springform pan.
Place the cheesecake on the middle rack of the oven, leaving the casserole dish with the water in the oven.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until done (The cheesecake will be done when the side looks set but the center still jiggles slightly when nudged.)
Turn the oven off and prop the door open a little bit. Allow the cheesecake to cool for an hour in the oven.
After the hour has passed, remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool completely before placing it in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.
Just before you’re ready to serve, prepare the pecan pie topping.
In a pan over medium heat, toast the pecans for 1 to 2 min. or until fragrant. (Be careful - nuts burn quickly.) Remove the nuts from the pan and set aside.
Add the maple syrup to the pan and allow it to bubble, then cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the butter, salt and pecans to the mixture and cook for an additional minute before removing the topping from the heat.
Allow the topping to cool for 2 to 5 min. Remove the rim of the springform pan. Pour the syrup mixture over the cheesecake. Slice the cheesecake with a hot, clean knife and serve!