I found the recipe on epicurious during my search for interesting things to make with pumpkin a while back. It's also pretty high on my list of favorite pumpkin recipes -- my absolute favorite of course is the pumpkin bread with streusel topping (I can't believe I haven't blogged about that yet... guess I'll have to make it again soon), my attempts at pie are well-documented by this point, the pumpkin cheesecake bars were a bit of a hassle, the pumpkin bread pudding was quite good, but I don't usually have stale bread on hand...
For anyone who looks at this recipe and feels intimidated by the size of the ingredients list -- don't. Everything mixes together quickly and easily, and it's very forgiving for mixing and measuring. The only place to be careful is the baking time -- and that's usually longer than what the recipe calls for, not shorter. Plus, remember to put the cheesecake on a rimmed baking sheet to prevent a big mess in the oven.
IngredientsFor the crust
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the filling
1 1/2 cups solid pack pumpkin
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, cut into bits and softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon if desired
For the topping
2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon, or to taste
16 pecan halves for garnish
In a bowl combine the cracker crumbs, the pecans, and the sugars, stir in the butter, and 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.
Make the filling:
In a bowl whisk together the pumpkin, the egg, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the ginger, the salt, and the brown sugar. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and the granulated sugar, beat in the cream, the cornstarch, the vanilla, the bourbon liqueur, and the pumpkin mixture, and beat the filling until it is smooth.
Pour the filling into the crust, bake the cheesecake in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 50 to 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:
In a bowl whisk together the sour cream, the sugar, and the bourbon liqueur.
Spread the sour cream mixture over the top of the cheesecake and bake the cheesecake for 5 minutes more. Let the cheesecake cool in the pan on a rack and chill it, covered, overnight. Remove the side of the pan and garnish the top of the cheesecake with the pecans.