PRALINE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE
Just in time for Thanksgiving. This is a recipe that has become one of my favorites to make this time of year. I love cheesecake and adding in a little pumpkin makes this recipe perfect for Turkey day.
2 cups crushed graham crackers
8 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup of sugar
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
3 packages (8 ounces) cream cheese, soft at room temperature
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
4 large eggs
1 can (15 ounces) solid pack pumpkin; not pumpkin pie filling
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup firmly packed Dark brown sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
Preheat oven to 325°F.
1. To make crust, use a rolling pin or food processor and crush graham cracker to obtain 2 cups. Add melted butter, sugar, and combine well.
MY TIP: Place parchment paper in the bottom of the pan before you press crust in. Cut a circle as close to size as you can. This will help you slide the entire cheesecake off the bottom of the pan to the serving dish without it tearing apart. If you want to keep in on the cake pan then skip this tip.
2. Press onto bottom and up sides of a 9-inch diameter spring form pan and place in oven for 9 minutes.
MY TIP: Use a measuring cup with a flat bottom to press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. This will help keep the crust even and compact.
3. When the pan has cooled, wrap the outside of the pan with 3 layers of tin foil. Ensure that no water could penetrate through foil. Place pan in a roasting pan and set aside.
4. To make pumpkin cheesecake, beat soft cream cheese and both sugars on low speed until well blended with no lumps. Scrape bowl well.
5. Add one egg and mix. Then add the rest of the eggs, mix each egg one at a time. Scrape bowl and beater well in between additions.
6. Add pumpkin, spices and vanilla and mix to combine – do not beat, just mix by hand. (Don’t over beat cream cheese mixture.) Pour into cake pan over crust. Pour water into roasting pan, about 1/2-3/4 inch high, and place in oven.
MY TIP: Place foil around the bottom of cheesecake pan will prevent your cheesecake from baking too fast and drying out.
Bake until center of cake no longer trembles, about 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours.
MY TIP: You do want the cheesecake to brown too much, or crack. Check periodically and shake to see if the center is no longer liquidy, it will be more like firm jello.
7. Pull roaster out of oven and pull out your cheesecake. Allow cheesecake to cool at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Place in refrigerator overnight. Bring your cake out of refrigerator about an hour before serving to bring it to room temperature. Remove outside of springform pan. Remove the cheesecake from the cake pan base and place it on your cake plate.
MY TIP: Take a long sharp knife and gently slide under the bottom of the cheesecake (in between the parchment paper and cheesecake) until you have loosened the entire cake from pan. Slide the cheesecake onto your platter.
8. To make the topping, begin by toasting pecans for 8 minutes in a 350°F oven if desired.
In a saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil excluding pecans. Boil for 3 minutes ensuring that mixture will not boil over. Remove from heat and stir in pecans.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes and spread on surface of cake.
Use a sharp knife that has been run under hot water to cut. Clean knife and run hot water on knife before each cut. You can also use dental floss to slice.
Adapted from Imperial Sugar recipe