Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Like all great things, this cheesecake is a classic with a bit of the unexpected. I adapted this recipe from the pumpkin cheesecake on the 'The Pioneer Woman' blog. If you haven't checked it out, do so! I loved her story of how she and her hubby met. It was a blend of messy real life and romantic love.
Isn't that how it should happen? A bit reality with a bit of magic?
I guess this pumpkin pie is a bit of how my search for Risotto Man is going. I hate to tell you but I'm putting that on the back burner for a bit.Searching for him has been a little tricky lately. I keep thinking that I've found something that could turn into something better but I guess I'm just REALLY not that good at reading people. I see only the good and have trouble seeing the bad in people. Which is fine. I mean, I can pet the 'lost puppy dog' I just don't have to bring him home.
Back to the cheesecake!
The thing that I love about this cheesecake is that the flavors are so unexpected. I typically find that traditional pumpkin pie is a single layer of flavor. A classic for sure but but not too much going on anywhere in the pie. Let me break this down for you this way if pie was guy,
(BOOM, you didn't know I was a poet did ya?)
Pumpkin would be the hunky gym guy you've been looking at. When you finally work up the nerve to talk to him you realize that his favorite thing to do is drink beer, watch football for the cheerleaders and lift weights. Classic meat head.
Pretty to look at, you might want to take a bite every now and then but that single layer of personality will always trip you up.
This pumpkin cheesecake is a lot like that guy that you run into in Barnes and Noble all the time. He's quiet and shy but has a really great smile. You think that all he does is sit at home and watch Star Trek. But when you finally talk to him you realize that he's more Star Wars (this is my fantasy) has arms that could bend steel, hangs at the bar to spend time with friends instead of hitting on everything that moves and loves football for the game.
This pumpkin cheesecake is like that. Unexpectedly sexy, wonderfully familiar and perfectly balanced all at the same time. In fact, I'd like to think that I'm a lot like the female version of this pumpkin cheesecake!!
To really bring out the flavors, I recommend a salted caramel sauce instead of the traditional caramel. But then again, that's me. Traditional with a hint of flavor.

What you need:
12 ounces, weight store bought Gingersnaps
1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
6 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 dash Salt

4 packages (8 0z. Packages) Cream Cheese
1-1/2 cup Sugar
1 can 15-ounce Pumpkin Puree, not Pumpkin Pie Filling
2 ½ Pumpkin Pie Spice (I used Penzeys Pumpkin Pie spice)
4 whole Eggs
2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream

Top that thing off!!
Caramel Topping
Chopped Pecans
Crushed Gingersnaps
Spiced whip cream (heavy cream with pumpkin pie spice whipped till soft and fluffy!)

What you do:
For the crust:
If you have one, crush the gingersnaps in a food processor. If not you can use a ziploc bag. Add the pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt, and mix until thoroughly combined. It should all come together and look somewhat like chunky wet sand. Press into bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Chill for 20-30 minutes. Chilling is VITAL so that the crust stays firm.

For the filling:
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and spices and mix again. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each egg is incorporated. About 20 seconds between each egg. Add cream and mix until just combined. Remove crust from fridge. Gently pour cheesecake filling into pan. Even out the top with a flat spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes. The cheesecake should not be soupy but should still be somewhat jiggly. Cool on counter for 30 minutes. Cover and chill cheesecake for another four hours or overnight. The cheesecake will pull away from the sides of the pan and you will be able to remove the rim from pan and slice. Sprinkle each slice with the caramel sauce, crushed gingersnaps, pecans and spiced whip cream.

1 comment:

  1. You had me at pumpkin cheesecake but with caramel sauce I am over the top in love with it and will attempt to make it!


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