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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brown Sugar Bourbon Whipped Cream

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JMpumpkincheesecakeI’ve been making this cheesecake at Thanksgiving for years and it’s always a crowd pleaser. The Whipped cream topping is particularly good with the pumpkin spices; the addition of sour cream gives it a crème fraiche quality.

Cookie Crust:
4-5 whole graham crackers, broken into large pieces
25 Gingersnap cookies (about 1 cup crushed)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar (10 1/3 ounces)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup pumpkin
1½ pounds cream cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks and left to soften at room temperature, about 30 minutes
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1 lemon
4 large eggs , left at room temperature, about 30 minutes
1 cup heavy cream

For the Crust:

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325°F. Spray bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan evenly with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Pulse cookies, crackers, sugar, and spices in food processor until evenly and finely ground, about fifteen 2-second pulses. Transfer crumbs to medium bowl, drizzle melted butter over, and mix with rubber spatula until evenly moistened.

3. Turn crumbs into prepared springform pan and, using hand, spread crumbs into even layer. Using flat-bottomed measuring cup, press crumbs evenly into pan bottom, then use a soup spoon to press and smooth crumbs into edges of pan. Bake until fragrant and browned about the edges, about 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling.

For the Filling:

1. Bring about 4 quarts water to simmer in stockpot.

2. Whisk sugar, spices, and salt in small bowl; set aside.

3. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat cream cheese at medium speed to break up and soften slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape beater and bottom and sides of bowl well with rubber spatula.

4. Add about one third of sugar mixture and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute; scrape bowl and add remaining sugar in two additions, scraping bowl after each addition.

5. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat at medium speed until combined, about 45 seconds; scrape bowl. Add 2 eggs and beat at medium-low until incorporated, about 1 minute; scrape bowl. Add remaining 2 eggs and beat at medium-low until incorporated, about 45 seconds; scrape bowl.

6. Add heavy cream and beat at low speed until combined, about 45 seconds. Using rubber spatula, scrape bottom and sides of bowl and give final stir by hand.

7. Set springform pan with cooled crust on 18-inch-square doubled layer heavy-duty foil and wrap bottom and sides with foil; set wrapped springform pan in roasting pan. Pour filling into springform pan and smooth surface; set roasting pan in oven and pour enough boiling water to come about halfway up side of springform pan.

8. Bake until center of cake is slightly wobbly when pan is shaken, and center of cake registers 145 to 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1 1/2 hours. Set roasting pan on wire rack and use paring knife to loosen cake from sides of pan. Cool until water is just warm, about 45 minutes.

9. Remove springform pan from water bath, discard foil, and set on wire rack; continue to cool until barely warm, about 3 hours. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

TO SERVE: Slide thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen, and then slide cake onto serving platter. Let cheesecake stand at room temperature about 30 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

Brown Sugar and Bourbon Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons bourbon

In bowl of standing mixer, whisk heavy cream, sour cream, brown sugar, and salt until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve cheesecake, at least 4 hours or up to 24, stirring once or twice during chilling to ensure that sugar dissolves.

When ready to serve cheesecake, add bourbon and beat mixture with whisk attachment at medium speed until small bubbles form around edges, about 40 seconds; increase speed to high and continue to beat until fluffy and doubled in volume, about 1 minute longer. Spoon cream on individual slices of cheesecake.

 

- Recipe courtesy of James Moore and his blog Cook Like James

 

 

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