As a nod to all my American friends who celebrated Thanksgiving over the past weekend, I decided to make a very seasonal dessert for a dinner party on Saturday (that I didn’t end up attending… sigh… damn flu). Hope everyone reading in the US is recovered enough from their turkey day comas to enjoy this post!
I really wanted to try Simply Recipes’ Pumpkin Cheesecake, but when I woke up on Saturday morning with a throbbing headache, I decided that it was not the time to experiment with such a complicated recipe. I mean, when Elise says “Well frankly, it is a little complicated. You do need a springform pan, and you do need to cook the cake in a water bath“, you have to stop and wonder whether it’s the right recipe to use to make your first ever baked cheesecake… It’s been filed away for future use… (now that I have one under my belt, I feel Elise’s recipe would be totally fine – with a little time). Given I had all the ingredients on hand, I was confident that I could find something slightly user friendly on the Internet and All Recipes came through with this:
Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese,
3/4 cup white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed gingersnap cookies, pecans, and butter. Press into the bottom, and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake crust 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Set aside to cool.
Ok, so I didn’t think it looked set enough after 50 minutes and left it in a couple of minutes longer and it started to crack!!! Noooooo! Taking it out of the oven, the cracking continued as it cooled:
I ended up cutting it into squares for Neil to take to the dinner party to sort of hide the crack factor. I needed something special for the plating and presentation and decided to go with Simply Recipes caramel sauce.
Elise says: Before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go – the cream and the butter next to the pan, ready to put in. Making caramel is a fast process that cannot wait for hunting around for ingredients. If you don’t work fast, the sugar will burn. Safety first – make sure there are no children under foot and you may want to wear oven mitts; the caramelized sugar will be much hotter than boiling water.
1 cup of sugar
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on.
3. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. This is why you must use a pan that is at least 2-quarts (preferably 3-quarts) big.
(no photos here unfortunately – Elise is right that you have to work quickly!)
4. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. (Remember to use pot holders when handling the jar filled with hot caramel sauce.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.
Oh yeah! This was a little bite of heaven – creamy cheesecake/ pumpkin and crunchy crust with the warmed caramel….. Will definitely be making this again – even the more complicated version and next time I will trust the recipe re: the baking time!