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Monday, November 8, 2010

Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake (David and Diane)

Recipe from

For crust
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from five 4 3/4 by 2 1/4-inch crackers)
1/2 cup pecans (1 3/4 oz), finely chopped
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For filling:
1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (optional)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

For topping
2 cups sour cream (20 oz)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (optional)

Garnish: pecan halves

1. Make crust:
2. Invert bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (to create flat bottom, which will make it easier to remove cake from pan), then lock on side and butter pan.
3. Stir together crumbs, pecans, sugars, and butter in a bowl until combined well. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1/2 inch up side of pan, then chill crust, 1 hour.
4. Make filling and bake cheesecake:
5. Put oven rack in middle position and Preheat oven to 350°F.
6. Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl until combined.
7. Stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.
8. Pour filling into crust, smoothing top, then put springform pan in a shallow baking pan (in case springform leaks). Bake until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 minutes. (Leave oven on.)
9. Make topping:
10. Whisk together sour cream, sugar, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl, then spread on top of cheesecake and bake 5 minutes.
11. Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 3 hours.
12. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours. Remove side of pan and bring to room temperature before serving.
13. Baked cheesecake can be chilled, covered, up to 2 days.
14. Makes 12 to 14 servings..


Fun variation:
My only modification to this recipe is making the pumpkin puree. I used heirloom pumpkins from the farmers market, but a sugar pumpkin or something similar would also work. Cut the pumpkins in half, scraped out the seeds and roasted at 400 degrees for approx. 45 - 60 minutes until the meat of the squash was tender and easy to scrape out. Once the pumpkins cool enough to handle, scrape the pumpkin into a bowl and add a bit of water if it is too dry to puree. I also added about 1/4 cup of maple syrup just for fun. Then just mash or puree with a potato masher or blender until smooth.

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