Perfect for the holidays! The pumpkin flavor is subtle -- not as pumpkin-y as pumpkin pie. Light yet satisfying; sweet but not overbearing.
It's that time of year again! I will be making this scrumptious dessert for Thanksgiving. This light and fabulous homemade pumpkin cheesecake is the best cheesecake I've ever tasted. The combination of ginger, graham cracker crust, caramel, and toasted pecans is yummy and oh so different. I encourage you to make this cheesecake for the holidays this Fall and Winter. You will be so proud of yourself, especially if you've never made a cheesecake before; it is quite an accomplishment to make such an impressive dessert - from scratch - for family and friends.
Before you begin, please read through the recipe to see how much time will be needed to prepare this dessert. It should be made the day before serving.
Preparation is a little time-consuming but it is worth it.
I made this for Christmas Day last year and all the guests agreed; it is the best cheesecake they have ever eaten.
1-1/2 cups graham crackers, crushed
1-1/2 cups toasted pecans
¼ cup brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ stick butter, melted
1 Tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger
First toast the pecans: heat oven to 350 degrees, melt a tablespoon of butter on a cookie sheet and spread the pecans evenly. Toast for about 10 minutes; watch carefully and stir to prevent burning.
Then break up the graham crackers and place the graham crackers, the toasted pecans, the brown sugar, and the ground ginger in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add melted butter and crystallized ginger and blend until well combined.
Press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan or a bundt pan.
4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, room temperature*
1 cup granulated sugar*
1-1/2 cups solid pack pumpkin
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. *Reserve ¾ cup of this mixture in a small bowl with lid and refrigerate.
Empty the can of pumpkin into another bowl. Blot with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Turn over and blot again several times with a new paper towel until the paper towels no longer absorb moisture. Do not skip this step! To the cream cheese/sugar mixture, add the blotted pumpkin, flour, whipping cream, spices, salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until just combined. Pour filling into the pan, on top of the crust.
Place a large sheet cake pan half full of water on the lower rack of the oven. Place the cheesecake on the middle rack. Bake about 90 minutes, or until cake puffs up, the top browns, and the cake center moves only slightly when the pan is shaken. Turn the oven off and leave the cake sitting in the oven with the door open for another 30 minutes. Remove and allow cake to cool completely before refrigerating overnight.
*Remove the reserved mixture of cream cheese and sugar (see filling recipe above) from the refrigerator one hour before serving. Spread over the top of the cake. Drizzle and swirl Hershey’s caramel topping over that and serve.
About 30 years ago, I came across a book of desserts that has a chapter devoted to cheesecakes. This book is the most wonderful cookbook you can imagine. Some of the cheesecakes are so tall that you must make a collar of foil around the top of your baking pan to contain them. There are over 200 recipes in this book, for cakes, cookies, pies, cheese cakes, cake rolls and pastries.
Grandma Rose's Book of Sinfully Delicious Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Cheese Cakes, Cake Rolls & Pastries, was written by Rose Naftalin of Rose's restaurant fame, whose desserts became the most sought-after in the Pacific Northwest and shipped all over the country. This recipe didn't come out of that book, but it is similar to her wonderful cheese cakes. The book is available on Amazon.
Thanksgiving 2014 -- I made this cheesecake yesterday and It turned out beautifully, again. This recipe is so consistent. Everyone loved it. Hayes family, Loos family, Dave, and Jack.