Monday, December 5, 2011

Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake and it's delicious beyond words.

Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake


Cheesecake crust:
2 cups crushed gingersnaps
4 Tbsp. melted butter

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:
3 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened to room temp.
1 cup extra fine granulated sugar (see note below)
1/2 cup dark or light brown sugar, firmly packed
4 large eggs
1 can (15-oz.) solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) *See Helpful Hints below
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. vanilla

Praline Topping
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup whipping cream
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 325

1. To make cheesecake crust, crush gingersnaps in food processor to obtain 2 cups. Add melted butter and mix well. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan and place in oven for 9 minutes.
2. When cool enough to handle, place pan on a layer of heavy-duty foil and wrap outside of pan with foil. Place pan in roasting pan and set aside.
3. To make pumpkin cheesecake, beat soft cream cheese and both sugars on low speed until well blended with no lumps.
4. Add one egg at a time waiting for previous added amount to be fully incorporated. Scrape bowl and beaters well in between additions.
5. Add pumpkin, spices and vanilla and mix to combine. Don't overbeat mixture. Pour into cake pan over ginger crust. Pour water into roasting pan, about an inch high and place in oven.
6. Bake until center of cake no longer trembles, about 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours.
7. Pull roaster out of oven and pull out cheesecake. Allow cheesecake to cool on a rack at room temp. for 1 hour. Place in refrigerator, covered and still in pan, overnight. Remove from fridge, remove outer ring of springform pan. (Run a sharp knife around edge of ring before removing)
Leave bottom of springform pan in place.
8. Praline topping: Toast pecans for 8 minutes in 350 degree oven. In a saucepan, bring all ingredients, excluding pecans to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes ensuring that mixture will not boil over. Remove from heat and stir in pecans.
9. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and spread on surface of cake.

Helpful Hints:
1. Drain pumpkin on paper towels to remove excess moisture. (This step is very important. Spread pumpkin out on several layers of paper towels and use more paper towels spread out over to press moisture out. Will take several times to get it dry enough.
2. Just to be safe, butter the inside of the springform pan.
3. You don't have to buy extrafine sugar for this recipe. Put the granulated sugar in the food processor for a minute or so and you have extrafine sugar.