Ok, so don't hate me but I am NOT a huge fan of pumpkin pie. It's a texture thing. However, I do LOVE pumpkin in almost everything else. So when I came across this Pumpkin Cheesecake over at Our Best Bites, I was slightly giddy! Besides, I had a great friend here over Thanksgiving who was willing to help me out in all my cooking endeavors (thanks Jen! You are the best!). This is my new favorite pumpkin dessert!
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust
1 3/4 cup gingersnap crumbs (about 30 small cookies)
6 T butter, melted
3 T brown sugar
3/4 cup ground pecans
3 - 8oz blocks of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
6 oz melted white chocolate (about 1 cup white chocolate chips)
1 cup sugar
2 t vanilla
1/4 t nutmeg
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t cloves
- fresh whipped cream
- toasted pecans
-caramel sauce, either homemade or store bought
Preheat oven to 350. Using 2 large pieces of heavy duty foil, securely wrap the bottom and outside of your cheesecake pan. This will prevent leaks when using a water bath.
For the crust:
Using a food processor, crush the gingersnaps. Next do the pecans. Combine these together in a bowl and add brown sugar and butter. Stir well and then press into a 9 inch spring form pan. Evenly spread across the bottom and up 1 inch on the sides. Set aside.
For the filling:
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave, being careful not to let it seize. In a double boiler, heat over the lowest setting and stir constantly. In a microwave, heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Set aside.
With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time. Next add the pumpkin, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.
With the mixer running, slowly add the white chocolate in steady globs. Once this is all incorporated, pour the mixture over the crust.
For the water bath:
Place the cheesecake pan inside a larger pan, like a roasting pan. The larger pan should be at least 2-3 inches in depth. Place in a preheated oven . With a kettle or pitcher, pour hot water into the larger pan until the water is half way up the side of the cheesecake pan (about 1 1/2 to 2 inches).
Bake for 60-75 minutes or until set. The center should be just a tad bit jiggly, it will finish cooking as it cools.
When it is done, remove from the water and cool completely on a wire rack. Once it is cool refrigerate for at least 12 hours. This cheesecake is very soft, so sufficient chilling is a must!
When ready to serve spread the fresh whipped cream over the top, drizzle with caramel and top with pecans.