Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan filled three-quarters with water on the bottom rack of the oven. Mix graham-cracker crumbs, butter and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Press crumb mixture firmly onto the bottom and 2-1/2 inches up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.
Beat cream cheese, remaining 1 cup sugar and the vanilla in a large bowl of an electric mixer on high speed until well-blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Add sour cream and cornstarch. Mix on low speed until blended. Pour 1-1/2 cups of the batter into a small bowl; stir in 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped candied pecans. Pour mixture onto prepared crust.
Slice pecan pie into six pieces. Remove crimped edge of crust and trim away about 1/2 inch of the outer, wide edges of pie slices. Reassemble pie upside down by placing pieces crust side up on top of batter in springform pan. Pour remaining batter over pie.
Wrap bottom and sides of springform pan with foil. Place on middle rack of oven and bake 70 minutes, or until center is almost set. Leave cheesecake in (turned-off) oven with door slightly ajar for 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool completely. Refrigerate overnight.
Remove sides of springform pan. Warm 1 cup of the candied pecan halves in the oven. Place along the outer edge of cheesecake to form a decorative ring, gently pressing into place. Serve cake with sweetened whipped cream and remaining candied chopped pecans.
Courtesy Lisa Robertson