THE BLOG
11/17/2014 04:33 pm ET Updated Jan 17, 2015

Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake With Praline Caramel Sauce

Brian Sullivan

It's that time of year again - the leaves are changing, the air feels a bit more crisp and there are seemingly endless, unique ways to indulge in one of the biggest flavors of the season: pumpkin. It's also a time for giving, so without further ado, I hope you enjoy my recipe for pumpkin cheesecake. The crust on this recipe is delightfully spiced and the praline caramel sauce is an unexpected twist that will keep you coming back for more.

PRALINE CARAMEL SAUCE (garnish)

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Molasses
  • 1/2 Cup Cream
Procedure:
  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add molasses and cream and bring to a simmer and then remove from heat and set aside and to cool.
  3. Drizzle over the plate as a garnish once the cheesecake is cooked and cooled.

SPICED GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 3/4 Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cardamom
Procedure:
  1. Combine Graham Cracker Crumbs, Spices and Sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan and add to the dry mixture.
  3. Toss all ingredients together until all crumbs and spices are well coated.
  4. Add the crust to a 10 inch springform pan, using the back of a measuring cup to pack the crust in to the pan and build a wall halfway up the pan for the sides.
  5. Set aside and make other components.
DARK PUMPKIN LAYER Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Molasses
  • 1/2 Cup Cream
  • 1lb Cream Cheese
  • 1 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Tbs AP Flour
  • 6 oz Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin, Canned
  • 2 Eggs, Whole
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
Procedure:
  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add molasses and cream and bring to a simmer and then remove from heat and set aside and to cool.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add cream cheese and whip with a paddle attachment until fluffy.
  4. With the mixer running on low, add the brown sugar, spices, salt, flour and continue to mix until well combined.
  5. Add sour cream and pumpkin and continue to mix until smooth.
  6. Add eggs, and vanilla and the cooled molasses sauce, mix until smooth and set aside.
LIGHT PUMPKIN LAYER Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 Lb Cream Cheese
  • 1 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp AP Flour
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 8 oz Sour Cream
  • 2 Eggs, Whole
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 1/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin
Procedure:
  1. In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment cream the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the sugar, flour and spices and mix until well combined.
  3. Add sour cream, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin and mix until smooth.
To assemble and bake the cheesecake:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Wrap bottom half of the spring form pan in foil.
  3. Pour the LIGHT Pumpkin layer over the DARK pumpkin layer and spread evenly.
  4. Place in a roasting pan.
  5. Carefully pour in water to come halfway up the side of springform pan.
  6. Bake until just set in the center about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  7. Remove pan from the water, let cool for 20 minutes. Run a pairing knife around edge and cool completely. Cover and chill overnight prior to serving.

WHIPPED CREAM (Garnish)

Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  1. Pour the cream into a well-chilled bowl and add the sugar and vanilla.
  2. Using an electric hand mixer or balloon whisk, beat the cream to the desired consistency. For soft peaks, the cream will be just thick enough to hold its shape in soft billows. For stiff peeks, the cream will hold firmly in hard lines.