For the ginger cookie crust:
Preheat oven to 350°.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together at medium speed the softened butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk, then the molasses and ginger.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, pepper, allspice, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add to butter mixture the dry ingredients until the flour is completely incorporated.
Divide the dough into five pieces, roll into balls, and coat with the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Arrange them 3 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Cool completely. Then put them in a food processor and grind them into crumbs. Drizzle in the melted butter. Press the mixture into a generously buttered and floured 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
For the cheesecake:
Reduce oven temperature to 275º
In the bowl of the mixer, using the paddle attachment, soften the cream cheese by beating at medium speed for 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl frequently as you mix the cheese. When no more lumps remain, beat in the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and the sour cream.
Using the dull side of a knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean halves into the mixer bowl and combine. Continue to scrape down the bowl after adding each ingredient to make sure that everything gets incorporated evenly. Add one-half of the mashed mamey and beat until smooth. Fold or swirl the other half of the mamey into the batter for a marbled appearance.
Pour into the prepared springform pan and put it in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 250° and bake for 45 minutes.
Turn off the oven, but leave the cake in for another 45 minutes. Cool at room temperature, then chill, covered, until the cake has set up completely.
©2010, All Rights Reserved by Norman Van Aken | Yield: One 9-inch cheesecake