Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake with Walnut Bourbon Caramel
Recipe by Dragon, Inspired by Epicurious.com
I made this cheesecake for Thanksgiving dinner this year and it was a hit. A creamy dream that looked and tasted of fall. It takes a bit of time to make and but this cheesecake is worth it. I think I'll make it again at Christmas...or maybe just again on the weekend. ;) Enjoy!
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup ginger snaps crumbs
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
zest of half an orange
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 packages cream cheese, at room temperature
For Walnut Bourbon caramel sauce:
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Stir together crumbs, walnuts, sugars, and butter in a bowl until combined well.
2. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom of pan, bake in the center of the oven for 6-8 minutes then cool crust for 1 hour. Sprinkle the top of the crust with the tablespoon of bourbon (I used a spray bottle).
Make filling and bake cheesecake:
3. Put oven rack in bottom third position and preheat oven to 350°F.
4. Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and bourbon in a bowl until combined.
5. Stir together granulated sugar, orange zest, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.
6. Pour filling into crust, smoothing top. Set the springform pan on a sheet of foil wrap and wrap the foil around up the sides of the pan. Put springform pan in a "bain marie". Fill with enough boiling water to 2/3 the way up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until center is just set, 60-70 minutes.
7. Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 3 hours.
8. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.
To make caramel sauce:
9. Combine the cream, vanilla and bourbon. Set aside.
10. In a dry heavy saucepan cook sugar over moderate heat. When the sugar begins to lightly brown here and there, gently swirl the pan until all of the sugar is a deep golden brown.
11. Remove pan from heat and carefully add the cream mixture to the pan and whisk until smooth. Stir in butter until then add the toasted walnuts. Sauce may be made ahead then cooled, covered and chilled. Reheat sauce to warm before serving.
12. Remove the cheesecake from the pan and place on serving platter. Pour enough of the warmed caramel to cover the top of the cheesecake and let it drip over the sides. Serve the rest of the sauce on the side.