Friday, December 9, 2011

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

Yum, yum, yum! My mom sent me the link for this cheesecake and asked if it could be included in our Thanksgiving menu. I thought it would be a great idea since, one, I hadn't made cheesecake for a while, and two, I would be required to make it the night before and therefore not a slave to making dessert on Thanksgiving day.

We made a special trip down to Seattle to get the salted caramel sauce since they only sell it at a few locations. The cheesecake came together really well. I roasted a few different types of pumpkins, some sugar pie pumpkins and others just small sized pumpkins. It was interesting to see the difference in the pulps and seeds between the two.

My only problem with this dessert was that the spring on my springform pan was not as tight as it used to be. I guess after 15 years or so it's reasonable to think that the spring would finally be sprung! I should have gone with my initial reaction to the fact that I could easily pop the base piece out while the spring was tight. Like, three times I popped it out. Finally on the fourth time it stayed in and I thought maybe I had just put it a little off kilter for the first three times. Nope, not it.

After a few minutes I started smelling burning. I opened my oven and black smoke poured out. I managed to get a pan (I knew I should have stuck a pan in originally but I just overlooked it) in for the dripping. I turned off the oven and took out the bottom rack. I scrubbed the bottom of the oven as best as I could at 400 degrees F. I thought for sure my cheesecake was toast since I had to turn the oven off and then preheat it again 10 minutes into baking. The oven continued smoking throughout the baking time, often enough that we had to pop out the battery on our smoke detector. Miraculously the cheesecake turned out and it didn't take too much longer than the projected baking time. It was definitely worth the hassle. Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake
Source: King 5

2 cups gingersnap crumbs
1/2 cup butter 
1/4 cup brown sugar

1 medium sugar pie pumpkin
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups unrefined sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Hot Cakes salted caramel sauce, plus extra for drizzling (or use your favorite caramel sauce)

To make the crust
Combine all of the ingredients and press into a 9-inch springform pan.

To make the filling
Preheat oven to 400° F.

Cut the pumpkin in half crosswise and roast, cut side down, for about 30 minutes or until fork tender. Cool slightly and scrape out the seeds. Scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor until smooth. You will need 2 cups for the filling.

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth then beat in the eggs and egg yolk until incorporated. Beat in 2 cups of the pumpkin puree, the sugar, sour cream, flour, spices, vanilla and caramel sauce. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Heat a little of the extra caramel sauce and drizzle a pattern over the top.

Bake at 350° F for about 1 hour or until the center is set. Let rest for 20 minutes and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.