Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Sour Cream Topping
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
1-1/2 cup 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
24 oz. cream cheese, cut into bits and softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon if desired
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.
In a bowl whisk together pumpkin, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and brown sugar.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together cream cheese and granulated sugar. Beat in cream, cornstarch, vanilla extract, bourbon liqueur and pumpkin mixture; beat until 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. Let cheesecake cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes.
In a bowl whisk together sour cream, sugar and 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.