Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine wafer crumbs and brown sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Pecan Filling: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into crust and set aside.
Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
Cheesecake Filling: With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add brown sugar and flour and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Stir in cream and vanilla. Pour over pecan filling. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven with the door closed for 1 hour.
Remove from oven and run a knife along the outside edges to loosen cheesecake from sides of pan. Let cool. Decorate top with whole pecans if desired. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
Cook's Note: Place a baking dish filled with very hot water on the bottom rack while the cheesecake bakes on the middle rack to prevent cheesecake from cracking.