Thursday, November 24, 2011

pumpkin cheesecake & happy thanksgiving!!!

Not pumpkin pie. But pumpkin cheesecake. It's probably too late in the day to make this, but save the recipe for next year. Or what the heck? Make it this weekend!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Pumpkin Cheesecake I got this recipe from my sister. Who knows where she got it and how old it is. The last time I made this we were living in San Francisco.....
makes one 10-inch cake 

for the CRUST
1 1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs ***I use Nabisco's Gingersnaps - about 30 cookies***
1  1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter @ room temperature
pinch of salt

for the FILLING
4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese @ room temperature
***OR for a lighter cheesecake - use 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese and 1 cup sour cream***
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin ***I only had 1 15-ounce can and it worked perfectly fine***
9 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg ***grind some fresh stuff***
4 large eggs @ room temperature

Prep your springform pan by wrapping the bottom and sides with foil making sure that the sides are completely covered. The cheesecake will be placed in a water bath for baking. 

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Find a shallow baking dish at least 2 inches wider than your cheesecake pan. Set aside.

In a bowl of a food processor grind gingersnap cookies, pecans, light brown sugar, unsalted butter and salt until it looks like wet sand.

Press this mixture into your pan with a removable bottom. You can just press it on the bottom or I like to go up the sides slightly. Set aside. 

Bring a kettle of water to a boil for the water bath.

In your bowl of your stand mixer, cream the cream cheese so that it's smooth and not lumpy. Add the sugar, pumpkin, all spices and vanilla. Mix on LOW until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and add the heavy cream. Mix on LOW. Add eggs 1 @ a time on LOW speed, incorporating each one before adding the other. Careful not to mix too much, especially at a high speed, because you do not want to incorporate air into it. Scrape down sides to make sure everything is mixed in thoroughly.

Set your prepared crusted pan into shallow baking dish. Pour your cheesecake mixture in. Carefully place this on the middle rack of your oven. Gently pour hot water into the shallow pan so that the water level is halfway up the foiled cheesecake pan; making sure you don't get any into your cheesecake.

Bake for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Carefully "jiggle" the cheesecake. It should "wiggle" in the middle when it's done. Remove from water bath and cool completely before placing it in the frig. Refrigerate for 4 - 6 hours or overnight before consuming.
We were doing some pre-Thanksgiving Day dinner quality control so we thought we'd give it a try for lunch. I made a simple caramel sauce with sugar and heavy cream and drizzled it on top. A little smokey sea salt didn't hurt it either.....Have a happy and healthy one!!! gobble gobble

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