Before my husband retired,I would make cheesecakes of various flavors for his co-workers birthdays. One co-worker said her favorite cake was carrot cake and could I adapt a cheesecake recipe in a similar flavor. She liked it so much she would request it for her friends birthdays as well.
1Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 10- inch metal form pan. Line the inside bottom of pan with parchment paper. Lightly butter the paper. Wrap the outside of pan with aluminum foil covering bottom and sides. In a food processor, process the pecan shortbread cookies to 2 1/2 cups fine crumbs.Place in a medium mixing bowl. Pulse 1 cup pecan halves in food processor until finely chopped. Combine and mix 1 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup flour,1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in the bowl with cookie crumbs. Drizzle 6 tablespoons of melted butter in mixture. Toss until well combined. Firmly press crumbs into bottom and up sides of prepared springform pan. Bake crust 15 minutes in preheated oven of 350 degrees. Let cool on wire rack.
2Cheesecake Filling: In food processor,finely chop 1 1/2 cups carrots. Place chopped carrots in a 1 quart microwave-safe covered bowl with 1/4 cup water. Microwave on high power for 3 minutes. Drain well. Set aside to cool completely. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt 6 1-oz. white chocolate squares in microwave oven on high for 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted. Set aside to cool.Put one 8 oz. package cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon,1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a stand mixing bowl. Beat 3 minutes with mixer on low. Blend in remainder of the three 8 oz. cream cheese. Increase mixer speed to medium, add in 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Blend in the 3 eggs on low speed, one at a time, beating well after addition. Also on low speed, beat in 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream just until blended. Do not over beat. Fold in well drained 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped,cooked carrots by hand. Place springform pan on a large shallow cookie sheet with edges. Add boiling water to cookie sheet that comes about 3/4 to 1-inch up the sides of springform pan. Check water level about halfway through baking time to be sure it has not completely evaporated. Bake in preheated oven of 350 degrees for 60 minutes to 75 minutes or until edges are light golden brown and top is slightly tan. Do not overbake; cake will split in the middle. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool in springform pan on wire rack for two hours without moving it.
3Topping: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 3/4 cup pecan halves on a cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Watch carefully so as not to burn them. Cool. Then coarsely chop in food processor. Set aside. In a quart saucepan, combine the 2 (8 oz) cans undrained pineapple, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoon cornstarch. Cook on medium heat until thick and clear (approx. 10 minutes)stirring occasionally to keep from scorching. Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup chopped, roasted pecans and 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to cool until cheesecake has cooled for two hours.Do not remove cheesecake from pan. Spread pineapple/pecan/coconut mixture on top of cheesecake. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. To serve, release and remove the sides of the springform pan. At this time, the cake can be left on the bottom of pan or can be removed to a pretty serving plate by sliding a large pastry spatula under the parchment paper.