Last week I complained that I never get the opportunity to make desserts like this because my husband is not a fan of pumpkin anything. My home group crew saved the day when they selflessly volunteered to eat what ever pumpkin dessert I wanted to make. With all the great recipes to choose from, I decided on one I have never eaten or made. It’s been a couple of years since my last cheesecake (also a really great Fall dessert), so I hoped that this one would be worth making. Cheesecake is one of the more time-consuming desserts to make, not to mention the overnight stay in the refrigerator; but all that waiting paid off because this was a hit with everyone who tried it. It tasted better than I could have hoped! The cheesecake is so creamy and light and there was just a hint of cream cheese flavor, but the predominant flavor was pumpkin pie. This is apparently the type of cheesecake that appeals to people who don’t like cheesecake or don’t like pumpkin pie. Everyone that tried it really enjoyed it and one even said it was better than Cheesecake Factory – what a great compliment 🙂 I made some minor tweaks to the recipe and combined some of My Baking Addiction’s recipe to Once Upon A Chef’s. My Baking Addiction shared a video with great tips to make the perfect cheesecake, like how to ensure that no water seeps into your cheesecake while it bakes in the water bath. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Pumpkin Cheesecake – adapted from Once Upon A Chef with some tips from My Baking Addiction
For the Crust
- 2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 14 graham cracker sheets)
- 1/4 granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
For the Filling
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
- 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground all-spice (*optional*)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream, cold
- 1-1/2 pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
For Caramel Sauce – adapted from Kelsey’s Essentials
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel, or kosher salt
For the Crust
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Wrap a 9-inch springform pan twice with aluminum foil (preferably heavy-duty). Take care to pull the foil all the way up the sides so that water cannot seep in from the water bath. Lightly oil the bottom and sides of the pan. Pulse the crackers (or crumbs), sugar and spices in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse a few times to combine. Dump the moistened crumbs into the prepared pan and, using a measuring cup or glass, press into an even layer. Bake until fragrant and set, about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
For the Filling
- Bring about 4 quarts of water to a simmer in a tea kettle (this will be used for the water bath). In a small, heavy saucepan, stir together the pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, all-spice and salt. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a sputter, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, until thick, bronzed and shiny. Scrape the mixture into a large food processor fitted with the metal blade and process for 1 minute with the feed tube open.
- With the motor running, add the cold cream. Add the cream cheese (cut into chunks) and process for about 30 seconds, scraping the sides if necessary, or until smoothly incorporated. Add the eggs and process for about 5 seconds or just until incorporated (do not overmix!).
- Set the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour the batter into the cooled crust, and then pour enough boiling water into the large roasting pan to come about halfway up side of the cake pan. Bake until the cake is just set, about 1-1/2 hours. If it jiggles, it’s not done. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and set on a wire rack. Use a paring knife to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Cool until the water is just warm, about 45 minutes. Remove the springform pan from the water bath, discard the foil and set on a wire rack. Continue to cool at room temperature until barely warm, about 3 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
For Caramel Sauce –
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 7-10 minutes.
- Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Transfer the caramel to a dish and cool.