Friday, September 30, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake and Gingersnap-Pecan Crust with Maple Caramel Sauce

Spicy pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap and pecan crust, drizzled with maple-caramel sauce
For your Thanksgiving feast this year, why not try an elegant alternative to the same old boring pumpkin pie — creamy pumpkin cheesecake! This smooth and spicy cheesecake is drizzled with warm, maple caramel sauce and chopped pecans, atop a gingersnap and pecan crust.

Toast the pecans slightly in a dry sauté pan to bring out the flavor.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap/Pecan Crust and Maple Caramel Sauce 
Equipment required: 9" springform pan, mixer, food processor or coffee grinder, baking sheet with sides (i.e. jelly roll pan) Ingredients

Crust
1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies
1/2 cup pecans, ground fine in a food processor or coffee grinder
5 tbsp butter, very soft or melted.

Cheesecake
2 - 250 g (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Sauce
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom of a 9" springform pan, then wrap the pan with a double layer of aluminum foil. 
  2. Mix crust ingredients in a bowl, and press into the bottom of the springform pan. Use a spatula to make it nice and flat and neaten the edges. Bake crust in the oven for 8-10 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside to cool. Turn the oven temperature down to 275°F. 
  3. For the filling, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar together until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition; then beat for 2 minutes (use a timer). 
  4. Add pumpkin, spices and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes. 
  5. Pour filling into cooled crust. Place foil-wrapped pan on a baking sheet and fill with 1/2 inch of water. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Sides of filling should look puffy and centre should still jiggle and look slightly wet. Turn off the oven, leave the door open a crack and leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool for another hour. 
  6. Remove cheesecake from oven, lift out of water bath and chill cheesecake overnight. 
An elegant alternative to pumpkin pie for your Thanksgiving feast.


To prepare sauce
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium and keep stirring for another 2 minutes. 
  2. Add maple syrup & salt and stir for another 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened. 
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Mixture will bubble up a bit so keep stirring! 
  4. Drizzle a little slightly cooled sauce over cheesecake. Sprinkle with chopped pecans, and drizzle more sauce over the top, saving some sauce to serve with the cheesecake. The sauce can be made ahead of time; simply re-heat over low heat or in the microwave and stir until smooth.
This recipe makes lots of sauce, which can be re-heated easily in a microwave.
This column first appeared in Stimuli Magazine. Check out my column
'Just Desserts' for more sweet and delicious recipes!

11 comments:

Mmm... is for Mommy said...

Yum! I was planning on making a pumpkin cheesecake to take to the in-laws for Thanksgiving and this recipe is tickling me in all the right spots :)

~Heather

Brenna Hawley said...

I'm not a pumpkin girl generally, but your photo on foodgawker was too awesome to pass up! This looks wonderful!

Beth @ Beth Michelle said...

This look absolutely amazing. I love anything pumpkin and this topping cannot be beat. Beautiful!

Alyssa Trobacher said...

This looks delicious, I'm tempted to whip out the cream cheese!

Meg @ Sweet Twist said...

Looks Heavnly!!

angrycherry said...

Beautiful! I love the caramel sauce dripping down the sides... om nom nom!

lulu said...

Thanks, everyone! It was delicious, but I absolutely LOVED the sauce! I think I really am a saucy tart after all ;)

jismy.name said...

Thanks for this - I made it for Thanksgiving dinner and it was awesome! Everyone loved it. The crust really makes it special and the caramel sauce is divine.

lulu said...

I'm so pleased to hear it worked for you and that everyone liked it! Good for you, for trying something new for Thanksgiving! Cheers =)

cg said...

I made this the other weekend and it was super yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

Muhammad Noman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.