Okay, I’ll be honest here, I get excited easily. A lot. Especially when it comes to making a new recipe that sounds totally awesome…and that was the case with this particular dessert. I’m a huge fan of cheesecake, and this delightful recipe that would be so perfect for Thanksgiving got me all riled up, so I had to test it out before the big Turkey Day to make sure it actually is as wonderful as it sounds. It most definitely is.
I started doing some research and found several different pumpkin cheesecake recipes. I came across three different recipes that I liked, but did some tweaking of my own to create this masterpiece. Okay fine, so maybe it’s not a masterpiece, but it’s pretty freakin’ awesome if you ask me. While the cheesecake was baking, the thought of caramel sauce crossed my mind as well, so I found a recipe for that. Considering I was making a trial cheesecake before Thanksgiving and then another one several days later, having a good amount of homemade caramel sauce in the fridge sounded like a fantastic idea…so I made some…and VERY glad we used this instead of the storebought kind. Top this off with some whipped topping? Holy cow. My husband even went back for a second piece, and that rarely happens.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe:
For the crust:
2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 stick melted salted butter
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (15 oz.) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine crumbs and sugar, add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined. Pour into crust. Wrap pan with two sheets of aluminum foil that are perpendicular, to keep water from seeping into pan during the baking process. Place springform pan inside a larger pan, then fill the space in between the two pans with about 1 inch of water (this helps create moisture in the oven during the baking process to prevent cheesecake from cracking). Spread out evenly and place in oven for 75-90 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Caramel Sauce Recipe:
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla