I know, I know. It’s probably not nice of me to post a pumpkin recipe the day before Thanksgiving when the menus are already planned and the shopping is already done… [right?]. But this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Praline Topping is so fabulous I hope you’ll forgive me, just this once. I made it to take to our small group from church about a month ago and it was absolute devoured.
This cheesecake is so light, so fluffy, so rich, so flavorful. Even if there is no room for cheesecake on Thanksgiving day, I bet there’d be room on Black Friday. Or Saturday. Or Sunday. Or Monday. Or… any day, really! The chocolate crust pairs really well with the spicy pumpkin filling, and the Pecan Praline Topping is to die for! [And leftovers serve really well as dip for apple slices or drizzle for ice cream...] All the work for this cheesecake is totally worth it… I promise. So, do you forgive me for being mean?
Pumpkin Cheesecake [from Brown Eyed Baker]
- 2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs [use a food processor/blender or a rolling pin/ziploc to crush them]
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 32 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- about 2 cups [15 ounces] canned pumpkin
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use aluminum foil to double-wrap the bottom and outside of a 9 inch springform pan.
In a food processor or blender, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and butter. Press into the bottom of the springform pan and bake for about 7 minutes or until set and golden brown. Cool completely before filling. Adjust the oven to 325 degrees.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add cream cheese and sugars and mix on medium speed until creamy, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add pumpkin and mix on low until fully combined, scraping the sides as needed. Beat in eggs one by one, mixing long enough to ensure each is fully incorporated. In a small bowl, whisk together cream and vanilla, then pour in the batter and mix until combined. Stir together the spices and add, mixing on low until all is combined.
Boil a pot or teakettle of water for a water bath.
Pour batter onto crust. Place the cheesecake pan into a larger dish [I use a roaster] and pour the boiling water into the larger dish, about halfway [2-3 inches] up the sides of the cheesecake.
Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until edges are set and middle is slightly underbaked [it should not be firm yet]. Turn off the oven and let cheesecake sit in the water bath for about 60 minutes, leaving the oven door shut. Then, take cheesecake out of water bath and oven, remove the foil, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. [Do not refrigerate until cheesecake is cooled; this causes condensation.] About 2-3 hours is necessary for the cheesecake to cool completely, so take that into consideration when you’re planning!
Refrigerate at least 6-8 hours or overnight before serving
For more info on cheesecakes and water baths, check out this site.
Pecan Praline Sauce [from Food & Wine]
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups pecans, roughly chopped and toasted in a 350 degree oven for 4-5 minutes if desired
In a small saucepan, melt butter and stir in sugar. Cook over medium heat, always stirring, until smooth. Whisk in heavy cream and salt, then bring to a boil and simmer until thick. Cool, and stir in pecans.
Click here for the printable: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Praline Sauce