Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake
1 cup gingersnap crumbs
1/2 cup pecans (1 3/4 oz), toasted and finely chopped
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temp
2 cans (16oz) pumpkin (use organic, solid packed pumpkin if you can)
3 large eggs, at room temp.
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (8-oz) packages reduced fat cream cheese, at room temp
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 cup heavy cream
pecan halves for garnish
First, make the crust by greasing a 10" x 10" square springform pan (or whatever springform pan you have around) and preheating the oven to 350F.
Put all of the ingredients for the crust in a food processor and pulse until a crumbly dough forms.
If you don't have a food processor or mixer, just combine with your hands until the mixture makes dough the heat of your hands will help melt the already room-temp butter.
Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides a bit. Place in oven for ten minutes.
If you've got all of your ingredients right out in front of you, make the filling in the ten minutes it takes the crust to cook!
Mix together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cream and bourbon until well combined.
In a separate bowl (if you've got a stand mixer, use that bowl), stir the sugar, spices, salt and cornstarch and add cream cheese.
Use an electric mixer on high speed, a whisk and your arm at arm-aching speed or a stand mixer at 8 to beat the mixture into creamy and smooth submission.
Add the pumpkin mixture and beat at medium speed (turn stand mixer to 4) until well combined and super-smooth. Your crust should be done now.
Let the crust cool for five minutes and pour the filling over it making sure the top is nice and smooth.
Place the springform pan on top of a cookie sheet in case the mixture leaks a bit while cooking and let it bake for 50-60 minutes or until the center is just set.
You can now make the frosting while the cheesecake is baking.
Simply beat the heavy cream into whipped cream (once again, electric mixer or stand mixer will help immensely with this, if you don't have one, just buy whipped cream and use a cup of it), add the sour cream, sugar and bourbon and beat until a smooth frosting forms.
When the cheesecake is out of the oven and cooled completely, frost with icing and place pecans decoratively on top.
Let sit in fridge for 5 hours or overnight, and remove sides from pan before serving this cheesecake tastes best when cold and can be kept, covered, in the fridge for 2 days.
Voila! It may seem like a crazy number of steps, but it goes by rather quickly and once it's all done you can just put your feet up for a day or two and know that you have a delicious dessert waiting in the fridge.
Pairs Well With
I now have to make this every Thanksgiving because it was so good that even my grandma ate it - and she's not a sweets person.
Based loosely on this recipe from Epicurious.