I hope this cheesecake goes on your Thanksgiving holiday menu this year!
I think one of my most favorite holiday desserts is the infamous and classic Pumpkin Pie. I know that may sound like a shock to most of you considering all the desserts that are presented on Thanksgiving. However, it is true. I like the simplicity, the density, and the flavor of Pumpkin Pie. It isn’t too sweet and it does just enough to satisfy the sweet craving I have after the huge holiday dinner. In fact, I think I am a big fan of, just about, anything pumpkin (except Pumpkin Roll). What better way to combine the concept of pumpkin pie into a cheese cake?!
The first time I made Pumpkin Cheesecake I was in college. I came home for Thanksgiving and I wanted to add a new dessert to the rest of the usual suspects. After I made that cheesecake, I kid you not, I, the person who made it, did not get a single slice. The family loved it! Nevermind if the baker wanted to try her own work. They were only looking out for themselves. Several years later bring us to this moment. That slice that you see coming out of that delicious cake was my first piece, and although I didn’t eat the entire piece (watching that gut) I enjoyed the few bites I had. That toffee sauce gives the cheesecake a nice nutty overlay that compliments the pumpkin so well. Not to mention this is an extremely easy dessert to make. If you are going to make this for the holiday or another holiday event, it is best if you make it the day before so it is completely chilled the next day. I hope you enjoy this cheesecake and your holiday!
- 1½ c. graham cracker crumbs
- ½ c. pecans
- 10 tbsp. melted butter
- 3½ packages cream cheese, softened
- 1¼ c. brown sugar
- 5 eggs, room temperature
- 1½ c. pumpkin puree
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ginger
- ¼ tsp. cloves
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. salt
- TOFFEE SAUCE
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 c. light brown sugar
- ¾ c. heavy cream
- ½ c. chopped pecans (optional or use your favorite nut)
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees: In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and pecan pieces and pour in the melted butter. Mix well until mixture begins to look like wet sand. Spray or grease a 9 inch springform pan, Begin to pay half of the crust mixture onto the bottom of the pan and take the remaining half of the crust and pat on the sides of the pan so the crust also goes up the cake.
- Place in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. While the crust is cooling, place the cream cheese in a separate bowl and using a hand held mixer or a standing mixer, cream the cream cheese until creamy and soft. Blend in the brown sugar, add the eggs one at a time cracked into a ramekin first. Blend in the pumpkin puree, the vanilla extract, and the spices. Once all the ingredients are well combined, pour into the springform pan.
- Secure the pan by placing aluminum foil around the cake pan. Fill a rather large baking pan halfway with warm water and place the cheesecake inside that baking pan and then place inside the oven and allow to bake for an hour or until a toothpick is inserted in the middle and the cake comes out clean. Baking the cheesecake in warm water will prevent the cake from cracking at the top and help it to come out nice and pretty.
- Once the cake is finished baking, allow to cool at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove the outside of the springform pan and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- To make the sauce, melted the butter in a large sauce pan, add the brown sugar and stir until well mixed, and pour in the heavy cream all over medium to high heat. Mix until the toffee sauce is well mixed and slightly boiling but do not let it boil over. This should take 5 minutes. Pour in the nuts and stir once more and remove from heat and allow to cool before pouring on top of the cheesecake. You could also serve it on the side if you like.