Friday, October 4, 2013

Praline Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake

If there's an ingredient that's 'hot' right now, I would guess that it would be pumpkin and anything involving pumpkin. It seems as though once the beloved Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte has become available, it become unofficially fall lol. I've been holding off on posting this dessert because I didn't want to get ahead of the fall season... but now that we're starting October, I guess it's time. This Praline Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake is one of my favorite pumpkin desserts. A gingersnap cookie crust is filled with a creamy bourbon kissed pumpkin cheesecake which is finished off with a topping of homemade pecan pralines...

Pumpkin, pralines, pecans...today's post has been brought to you by the letter P. This may appear a bit intimidating because there are three components to the recipe - crust, filling, and praline - but don't let that stop you. Each component is easy to make and you can even do some or all of them in advance. I think I may even make this again for the upcoming holidays and it's certainly guest worthy too!

Praline Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake
recipe from Epicurious

For praline
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. 

In heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and butter until sugar melts and mixture comes to boil; boil 1 minute without stirring. Add the pecans and spread mixture on prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until sugar syrup bubbles vigorously, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool praline completely. Break into pieces. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight.)

For crust
2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 9 ounces)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted


Preheat oven to 325°F. In medium bowl, combine cookie crumbs, cinnamon and butter until the crumbs are moistened. Transfer the mixture onto a  9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Spread the crumb mixture evenly on the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake crust in the preheated oven until set, about 8 minutes. Cool. Double-wrap outside of pan with heavy-duty foil. Place in large roasting pan and set aside.

For filling
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 large eggs
1 15-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
3 tablespoons bourbon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in flour and spices. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the pumpkin, bourbon and vanilla. Transfer to crust.

Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to reach 1 inch up sides of springform pan. Bake cake in water bath until center is just set, adding more water to roasting pan as needed, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Remove cheesecake from water. Cool in pan on rack. Remove foil. Run small sharp knife between cake and pan sides. Chill until cold; then cover and chill overnight.

Release pan sides. Place cake on platter. Sprinkle praline over, leaving 1-inch plain border at edge. Cut cake into wedges.