This recipe came from Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes. It sounded great even though my family and I don’t eat pumpkin. Growing up we always had sweet potato pie instead of pumpkin pie. The one time I did make a pumpkin pie I used way too much sugar and cinnamon to disguise the pumpkin taste.
I wasn’t heavy on the sugar with this recipe, but I did make a few modifications. No fresh nutmeg in this area so I had to use the ground. Also didn’t want to make another trip to the store and get bourbon so I used extra vanilla instead. And yes I did read the recipe first, just forgot to add bourbon to my list. It was really, really good and I liked the crunch from the pecans in the crust. This cheesecake is super rich on it’s own and really doesn’t need the caramel sauce. I made it anyway and only had it on the first slice. My family was satisfied with an obligatory taste and were done with it after that. Which means I have to give most of it away so I won’t eat it all. Not that I couldn’t, I don’t need to. Enjoy!
1 cup pecans
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup graham cracker crumbs (approximately 4 graham crackers)
2 TBS unsalted butter, softened
1 egg yolk
4 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups (1 pound) brown sugar
5 large eggs
3 TBS all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tps salt
3 TBS vanilla
1 30oz can pumpkin puree
Pulse pecans, flour, sugar, and crumbs in a food processor. Add butter and egg yolk. Pulse until mixture is evenly blended. Press into bottom of 9” springform pan and bake for 10 minutes at 375°F. Remove from oven and let cool.
Drain or strain any liquid from pumpkin purée. Take pumpkin purée and place on several layers of paper towels. Cover with several layers of paper towels and use your hands to gently squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the purée. The original directions state that you will probably go through a lot of paper towels. Not probably, definitely. Mind you I might have gotten a little carried away with pressing out the excess liquid, but I was determined to get as much out as I could. My zeal for getting out the liquid may have left me about a half cup shy of the pumpkin puree required. Then again I used a 30 oz can instead of two 15oz ones, that was my last modification. Who knows? I had leftover sweet potato puree so I used it to make up the difference.
Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and allspice in a medium bowl. With a wooden spoon (no need for a mixer for this step), mix in the salt, pumpkin purée, vanilla, and bourbon. Beat in the eggs.
In a large bowl, and using a mixer combine the cream cheese and the brown sugar until fully creamed and smooth. Nothing worse than lumps in your cheesecake. Gradually add the pumpkin mixture until fully blended. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place pan in the middle of two layers of large sheets of aluminum foil (to help prevent water-bath moisture from leaking into the pan). Fold the aluminum foil up the sides of the pan and trim. Place the aluminum wrapped pan in a large roasting pan (large enough so that there is room on all sides). Pour the pumpkin cream cheese mixture into pan.
Place the roasting pan containing the filled pan in a 325°F oven on the middle rack. Pour boiling water into the pan so that it comes halfway up the side of the pan. Cook for 1 ½ hours. Turn off the oven heat and prop the oven door open. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven, cooling for another hour. Then remove from oven and let come to room temperature. Once it has cooled down, chill for several hours in the refrigerator, preferably overnight. This step along with the water bath is supposed to help prevent cracking. Mine cracked a bit even though I followed the instructions exactly. Some of the reviews from the recipe suggested that just placing a pan of boiling water on the bottom rack of the oven is enough to prevent cracking and is less cumbersome. I will try that next time and if anyone knows of a definitive method for eliminating cracking please let me know.
Here’s the recipe for the caramel sauce.