Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Butter Sauce

I haven’t really mastered cheesecakes, but Marion, OH my sister, Marion!…she has!!!  And with the cheese cake AND the pumpkin….this recipe is “la crème de la crème”!

CRUST:

1 1/4 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 22 cookies)

2 Tbs minced crystalized ginger

3 Tbs sugar

1/2 ground cinnamon

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

FILLING:

3 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cup pureed cooked pumpkin

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

SAUCE:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 Tbs bourbon whiskey or 1 TBS vanilla extract (go with the bourbon-the alcohol cooks off and it tastes AWESOME!)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine first four crust ingredients in food processor until mixed well.  Add butter and pulse until incorporated.  Press into bottom and up sides of springform pan.  Wrap outside of pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Bake 5-7 minutes or until fragrant, slightly darker and slightly firm to the touch.

2. In large bowl, beat cream cheese at medium-low speed until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients one at a time, mixing just until blended.  Do not over mix.  Pour into springform pan with gingersnap crust.

3. Place springform pan in large shallow roasting pan (or broiler pan).  Fill pan with enough hot water to come 1/2 inch up sides of springform pan.

4. Bake 65 minutes or until edges are puffed and top looks dull and is dry to the touch.  Center should be less set than edges and will move when pan is tapped.  It should not ripple as if liquid.

5. Remove from oven:  remove from water bath.  Cool completely on wire rack.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

6. To make sauce, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in brown sugar until mixture is smooth.  Whisk in cream and bourbon, bring to a boil.  Pour into medium bowl, cool completely.  Serve with cheesecake.  Refrigerate leftovers

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