PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE WITH GINGERSNAP-PECAN CRUST

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I got this recipe years ago from a Bon Appetit magazine. I brought it to our Thanksgiving family get together, and it was a big hit. It is now the standard fare at our Thanksgiving gatherings. Another reason to be thankful. I’ve tweaked it to suit myself.

Crust: 1 and 1/2 cups ground gingersnap cookies, 1 and 1/2 cups pecans, chopped, 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, and 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted.

Filling: 4 – 8 oz packages cream cheese at room temperature, 1 and 2/3 cups sugar, 1 and 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin, 9 tablespoons whipping cream, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon allspice, 4 large eggs, 1 tablespoon caramel sauce.

For crust: Preheat oven to 350° F, and finely grind cookies and pecans in a food processor. (I’ve found the gingersnaps sold at Ikea work best. Regular store bought are like tiny lumps of cement when it comes to grinding them.) Add sugar to the processor, then the melted butter and blend until well combined. Press curst mixture onto bottom and up sides of a 9 inch springorm pan that is at least 2 2/4 inches high on the sides. TIP. I line bottom with baker’s paper. Otherwise, whole thing is very difficult to get off the pan. Just saying. Learn from mistakes.

For filling: I use a free standing mixer, and find that works best. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light. Add pumpkin, whipping cream and spices and mix well. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined. Pour filling into crust. Bake until cheesecake puffs and splits and it’s brown. The cheesecake should only move very slightly when pan is shaken, this takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around cake pan sides to loosen the cheesecake. Cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Drizzle caramel sauce over top and serve with whipped cream. Hardly any calories at all, so enjoy!

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