Pumpkin Cheesecake

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I was recently asked to make two desserts for the dessert dash at a fundraising auction. After a quick search online, I came across this recipe on Epicurious. It is from Gourmet magazine, which is one of my favorites for recipes, so I wanted to give it a try.

IMG_4056[1]The recipe was originally published in 1990—and to be honest, I bet I made it 20 years ago.

This time, however, I adapted the original recipe by substituting gluten-free graham crackers (available at specialty grocery stores). It was so simple. Plus, I was surprised how good the flavor was in the gluten-free graham crackers. At right is box from the brand I used.

Whether you opt for the gluten-free or original version, this will make a delicious addition to your holiday feast.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake
Serves 12 to 14
¾ cup gluten-free graham cracker crumbs (from five 4¾- by 2¼-inch crackers)
½ cup pecans (1¾ ounces), finely chopped
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1½ cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
3 large eggs
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (optional)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups sour cream (20 ounces)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (optional)
Garnish: pecan halves

First, prepare the crust:
Invert bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (to create a flat bottom, which will make it easier to remove cake from pan), then lock on side and butter pan.

Stir together crumbs, pecans, sugars, and butter in a bowl until combined well. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and ½ inch up the side of the pan, then chill for about 1 hour.

Put oven rack in middle position and Preheat oven to 350°F.

Next, make the filling:
Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl until combined.

Stir together granulated sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in a large bowl. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.

Pour filling into crust, smoothing top, then put springform pan in a shallow baking pan (in case springform leaks). Bake until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 minutes. (Leave oven on.)

Finally, make the topping:
Whisk together sour cream, sugar, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl, then spread on top of cheesecake and bake 5 minutes.

Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 3 hours.

Chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours. Remove side of pan and bring to room temperature before serving.

Baked cheesecake can be stored, chilled and covered, for up to two days.


One response to “Pumpkin Cheesecake

  1. Eleanor Moseley Pollnow

    This was a huge hit!

    Best, Eleanor

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