I hope you are all having a great time with your friends and families. I hope you have much to be thankful for. I know I do. I have amazing friends and family all across the country. I have a great job that I love. I’m healthy and I have my entire future ahead of me. Anything I want, I can go for it. It’s all up to me. What a liberating feeling…
I’ve also got this cheesecake. Oh yum! This is definitely one to be thankful for. It’s rich, delicious, pumpkiny, bourbony, and beautiful. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as the pumpkin lovers in my family will. (Can you believe there are even people who don’t like pumpkin?!?)
For the crust:
3/4 c. crushed gingersnaps (about 20 cookies)
1/4 c. pecans, chopped as finely as possible
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 TBSP bourbon (may be omitted…but it won’t taste as good!)
For the filling:
1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly-grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, cut into bits and softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 TBSP heavy cream
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
1 TBSP bourbon (can be omitted…see warning above)
For the topping:
2 c. sour cream
2 TBSP granulated sugar
1 TBSP bourbon liqueur or bourbon, or to taste
16 pecan halves, for garnish
Make the crust:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Process gingersnaps and pecans in food processor or chop as finely as possible with a sharp knife.
3. In a bowl combine the gingersnaps, pecans, brown sugar, butter, and bourbon.
4. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the side of a buttered 9-inch springform pan. Chill the crust for 1 hour. Bake for five minutes.
Make the filling:
1. In a bowl whisk together the pumpkin, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and brown sugar.
2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and granulated sugar.
3. Beat in the cream, cornstarch, vanilla, bourbon, and pumpkin mixture. Beat the filling until smooth.
4. Pour the filling into the crust.
5. Wrap the springform pan with two layers of aluminum foil. Place in the center of a raosting pan and fill roasting pan with hot water until about 1 in. deep.
6. Bake the cheesecake in the middle of a preheated 350 degree oven for 55 minutes, or until the center is just set, and let it cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes.
Make the topping:
1. In a bowl whisk together the sour cream, sugar, and bourbon.
2. Spread the sour cream mixture over the top of the cheesecake and bake the cheesecake for 5 more minutes. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for two hours, if possible. If not, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and let cool, covered, overnight.
3. Remove the side of the pan and garnish the top of the cheesecake with the pecans halves. Sprinkle each plate with chopped pecans, if desired.