1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
2. To make the crust, mix together the crushed ginger snaps, chopped pecans and melted butter.
3. Press the crust into a 9-inch spring-form pan, evenly covering the bottom and going up the sides about 1/4 of an inch.
4. Place in the fridge or in near an open window with a cold breeze.
5. To make the batter, using a mixer or a strong blender, throw in the softened cream cheese and eggs. Mix until smooth and combined.
6. Add the sugar, the maple syrup, the sweet potato, the spices and the flour, and blend until smooth. (Don’t mix it too long or too many cracks will appear on top when it bakes.)
7. Pour into spring-form pan, and bake for 45 minutes. Cheesecake will be done when the sides are set and the center is still a big jiggly. Turn off the oven, and then leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door open for about half an hour.
8. To make the topping while the cheesecake bakes, place 1/4 cup of chopped pecans in a heated dry iron skillet, and toast for about five minutes.
9. Mix the sour cream, vanilla, spices, syrup and sugar together. Add the pecans.
10. Take cheesecake out of the oven, spread on the topping, and let sit for another half hour.
11. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours and then serve.
Notes: A 1-pound sweet potato cooked in the oven at 425 degrees for a little over an hour will yield enough for the recipe. Alternatively, you can use canned sweet potato. The topping and crust are purely optional. If you bake without a crust, baking time will be about 35 minutes
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