***Crust*** 1 1/2 cup gingersnaps, finely ground 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (more if needed) ***Caramel Sauce*** 1 3/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon light corn syrup 2 tablespoons hot water 1 cup warm cream 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ***Pecan Pralines:*** 1 cup whole pecan halves 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon 1 pinch salt 1/8 teaspoon white pepper, (or less, to taste) 3 tablespoons egg whites ***Filling*** 1 1/2 cup solid packed pumpkin 3 large eggs 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ginger 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup caramel sauce 1 1/2 pound cream cheese, room temperature 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3 tablespoons bourbon or dark rum chopped pralines
To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch or 10- inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Combine gingersnap crumbs and sugar in bowl. Mix in melted butter and stir until crust holds together. Press crumbs onto the bottom of pan. Bake crust 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To make the caramel sauce: In a dry heavy saucepan, combine 1 3/4 cups sugar with corn syrup and hot water. Stir to blend and cook over medium heat until melted. Cook sugar, swirling pan, until a deep caramel.
Add warmed cream carefully, because caramel will splatter and bubble, stirring occasionally, until caramel dissolves. Let boil about 1 minute without stirring and remove from heat.
Remove a little more than 1/2 cup of the caramel for the cheesecake filling and set aside and allow to cool. Into the remaining caramel, stir butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla and cool to room temperature. To make the pralines: Place pecans in a small bowl. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Pour egg whites over pecans and toss to totally coat with egg whites.
Pour dry ingredients over pecans and stir to coat, being careful not to break the pecans. Pour onto a baking sheet and bake in the 350- degree oven until the sugar coating is dry, about 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove 12 perfect pecan halves and coarsely chop the remainder.
To make the filling: Blend together pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and 1/2 cup cooled caramel sauce.
In mixer, cream together cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth. Add cornstarch, vanilla and bourbon. Add pumpkin mixture to cream-cheese mixture and beat just until combined and smooth. Fold in chopped pralines. Pour mixture into pre-baked crust and bake 50 minutes to 55 minutes, or until cake is just set. Let cool 5 minutes.
Top with cooled caramel sauce, spreading evenly. Arrange pecan pralines decoratively on top and chill cheesecake, covered, overnight. Remove sides of pan.
I made this cheesecake for a Thanksgiving party yesterday. It was absolutely delightful. Everyone agreed it was amazing. In fact, nobody even touched the other desserts! I rated that it was expensive to make because I used all organic ingredients. It tasted so fresh and rich.
I did change a few things. I had never made pecan pralines before and I destroyed the ones I tried to make, so I just omitted the pecans from the recipe. Instead of bourbon I used Sailor Jerry's spiced rum - the flavor was very subtle, so if you want a boozier cake I'd go for the bourbon. I think I put the caramel topping on when it was too warm and a huge crack formed on the top of the cake. I had tasted everything as I went so I knew it tasted good, but it looked so ugly!! My solution was simple: I whipped up some whipped cream, spread it on top, and sprinkled some pumpkin pie spice on the top. Voila! It looked and tasted great.
The other reviewer was right: this isn't all that difficult of a recipe to make (if you're decent at baking); it just takes time. I recommend it highly!
Dec 23, 2008
this cheesecake was awesome and its really not that hard to make you just have to multi task i made it for thanksgiving and nobody could get enough of it! and i made two!!!! its really good i suggest you make it!