Pumpkin Cheesecake with Praline Topping

Ingredients for Cheesecake:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
5 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Ingredients for Praline Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions for Cheesecake:
1.  Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
2. Beat cream cheese and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth.
3.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, beating until blended. Pour batter into prepared crust. (Pan will be very full.)
4.Bake at 325° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.
5. Remove sides and bottom of pan, and transfer cheesecake to a serving plate. Prepare Praline Topping; immediately pour slowly over top of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/4 inch of edge.
6. Can Substitute Sweet Potatoes!  Sweet Potato-Pecan Cheesecake: Substitute 1 1/2 cups mashed, cooked sweet potatoes for canned pumpkin. Proceed with recipe as directed, baking 1 hour or until almost set.
Directions for Praline Topping:
1.Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring often.
2. Boil, stirring occasionally, 1 minute; remove from heat.
3. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Serve immediately.
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