Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust
Pumpkin pie may claim to be the reigning champion of holiday desserts, but this dish gives it a run for its money! Ginger, pecans and seasonal spices make a festive end to a great meal.
- 3 blocks (8 ounces each) cream cheese
- ¾ cup canned pumpkin puree
- 6 ounces melted white chocolate (about 1 cup white chocolate chips)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ teaspoons nutmeg
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- 1¾ cups gingersnap crumbs (about 30 small cookies)
- 6 tablespoons real butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¾ cup pecans
- 1 cup whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped pecans, toasted or carmelized
- 2 tablespoons caramel sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using two large pieces of heavy duty foil, securely wrap the bottom and outside of your cheesecake pan. This will prevent leaks when using the water bath.
Use a food processer to crush gingersnaps and then pecans. Combine the gingersnaps, pecans, brown sugar and butter, and stir well to combine. Press into a 9-inch spring-form pan. Evenly spread across the bottom of pan and up the sides about 1-inch.To melt chocolate, place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Set aside. With an electric mixer beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time. Add pumpkin, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. With the mixer running slowly add in white chocolate in a steady stream. Pour mixture on top of the crust.
Place cheesecake pan inside of a larger pan (at least 2–3 inches in depth). Place in pre-heated oven. With a kettle or pitcher filled with hot water, pour water into the larger pan about halfway up or approximately 1½ to 2 inches. Bake for 60–75 minutes or until set. The center should be a bit jiggly still. It will finish cooking while cooling.
When it is done, remove from oven and place on a rack until completely cool. Place in the fridge for at least 12 hours. This is a very soft cheesecake so sufficient chilling is a must. When ready to serve, spread sweetened whipped cream on top, drizzle caramel sauce over it and sprinkle with pecans.