Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Swirl
Last pumpkin posting, I promise…for now anyway… As my pumpkin love affair continues, I thought I’d whip up a pumpkin cheesecake in the hopes of assuaging my pumpkin obsession once and for all. I mean if a rich, decadent cheesecake doesn’t satisfy the beast within, what else can?
Funny story about this cheesecake though. This isn’t the first time that I’ve made this luxurious confection…I actually made it once last year to take to a client visit. I had never had pumpkin cheesecake before and upon seeing this recipe, I thought to myself, I could totally make this and it would be a PERFECT way to express my appreciation! So I set about making this cheesecake, boxed it up very prettily, and then drove 1.5hrs to my client for a meeting and to drop it off. After a 2 hour meeting and then lunch with them, I left for the 90 minute trek back home…only to realize about halfway home that after all of that, I had never even stopped to try the cheesecake. All that work and I *still* had not ever had pumpkin cheesecake! I knew in my heart of hearts that it was fabulous (and after speaking with my clients afterward, they confirmed that it was, indeed, truly amazing), but I had not yet had the personal pleasure. Alas!
That’s why, when another opportunity presented itself for cheesecake time with the family, I chose this one to ensure that THIS time, I was going to get a chance to check out this pumpkin cheesecake wonder. Perhaps it is a little bit self-serving, I admit, but hey, can anyone really complain as I present this pumpkin caramelly goodness? I didn’t think so.
Let’s actually talk about this pumpkin caramelly goodness for a sec shall we? A gingersnap crust with toasted pecans and brown sugar provides the framework for this confection while the filling reads like a luxuriously decadent pumpkin pie. To round it off? Caramel sauce…swirled all over the top. I think for me, the caramel is what puts this cheesecake over the top. It’s like having a pumpkin pie that went and got a celebrity makeover and then came over and said, “hey, let’s go dancing!”
So after about a year, and 2 bake throughs, I’ve finally, FINALLY, had my slice of pumpkin cheesecake. Guys, it was every bit as awesome as I thought it’d be. 🙂
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Swirl
Adapted from Bon Appétit | November 1993
1 1/2 cups ground gingersnap cookies
1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 – 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin
9 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons (about) purchased caramel sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap the bottom and sides of a 9″ diameter springform pan with 2-3 layers of aluminum foil. Place gingersnap cookies, pecans, and brown sugar food processor and process until finely ground. Add in melted butter and continue to blend until combined and mixture resembles wet sand. Press crust mixture into the prepared springform pan, evenly covering the bottom and the sides with the mixture.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until sugar is fully incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer 3/4 cup of mixture to a small bowl; cover tightly and set aside in refrigerator to use for topping later. Add in pumpkin, only 4 tablespoons of cream, cinnamon, and allspice to cream cheese mixture and beat until well combined. Add in eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just incorporated after each addition. Pour filling into prepared pan (filling will almost fill the pan). Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cheesecake should be puffed around the edges, top is browned and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken. Do not overbake! Transfer cheesecake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, run it around the sides of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. Allow to cool completely. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Next day, bring reserved 3/4 cup cream cheese mixture to room temperature. Add in remaining 5 tablespoons of whipping cream to mixture and stir to combine…mixture will be a little runny. Remove cheesecake from refrigerator and press down firmly on edges of the cheesecake to even it out. Pour cream cheese mixture over cheesecake and spread evenly. Drizzle caramel sauce in lines over cream cheese layer. Using the tip of a knife (or in my case, a chopstick) swirl caramel sauce into cream cheese mixture prettily. Cheesecake can be prepared 1 day ahead. Just cover tightly and refrigerate.