Friday, December 13, 2013

Pumpkin Cheesecake - light and decadent at the same time

As promised, below is the recipe for the cheesecake that I had made for Thanksgiving dessert. It was a huge hit.  One friend after seeing this photo on my previous post called to ask me if there was any left in the refrigerator.  If so, she would be right over!

For the crust
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2  cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the filling
1 1/2 cups pumpkin
3  large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened and cut into pieces 
1 /2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon

For the topping
2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon

16 pecan halves for garnish

Crust:  In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients and then add the  butter.  Grease the sides and bottom of the spring form pan with butter.  Press the mixture into the bottom and half way up the sides of a 9" spring form pan.  Chill the crust for an hour.

Filling:  Whisk the pumpkin, eggs, spices, salt and brown sugar together in a large bowl.  In another large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and granulated sugar.  Beat in the cream, cornstarch, vanilla, bourbon, and pumpkin mixture.  Beat until smooth.
Pour into the crust and bake in a 350 oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the center is just set.  Cool the pan on a rack for about ten minutes.

Topping:  Whisk together the sour cream, sugar and bourbon.  Spread over the top of the cheesecake and back for 5 minutes.

Cooking Tips:   Let all the ingredients come to room temperature.  Do not over cook the cheesecake.  Fill a baking pan half way up with water.  Put this pan on the rack below rack where you will put the cheesecake.  Bake the cheesecake in the middle of the oven.  Cook it for exactly 50 minutes.  Turn off the oven, open the door and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for about 20 minutes.  Once out of the oven, run a knife around the sides to insure the sides do not stick to the sides.  

Let the cheesecake cool on a rack.  Garnish with the pecan halves.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Serves 16.

Bon Appetit!

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