Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake
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This creamy pumpkin cheesecake is a special treat. Serve it at Thanksgiving or at a Christmas gathering and be prepared to get compliments. It sits on a gingersnap crust and is crowned by a creamy sour cream topping and a sprinkle of crunchy toffee. A springform pan is used here to facilitate serving.
Special equipment: 9-inch springform pan, roasting pan at least 11 inches wide
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
Crust for Pumpkin-Toffee Cheesecake
11/2 cups gingersnap crumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Make the cookie crumbs by placing crispy ginger cookies in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until the mixture is finely ground.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the insides of 9-inch springform pan with pan coating. Wrap the outside of the pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, coming at least halfway up the outside.
Combine the gingersnap crumbs and butter in a small bowl and stir until blended. Press the crumbs evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 8 minutes or until the crumb crust is just beginning to brown. Cool on a wire rack. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees.
Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup solid pack pumpkin
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Beat the cream cheese until creamy in a mixer’s bowl using a flat paddle attachment on medium speed. Add the sugar and brown sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Do not use low-fat versions of cream cheese; the cake will not come out properly.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in the pumpkin, cornstarch, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice just until well blended.
Pour the filling onto the cooled crust. Place the cake in a roasting pan and add hot tap water to come 1 inch up the pan’s sides.
Bake in a 325-degree oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. The cheesecake will look slightly puffed and the center will still be loose and a bit wobbly. Proceed with the topping.
Topping for Pumpkin-Toffee Cheesecake
2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup toffee pieces
Quickly whisk together the sour cream and sugar and spread gently and evenly over the top of the cheesecake. It will probably be level with the top of the pan or near to it; that’s okay.
Place the cake back in the oven and bake for 3 minutes. Cool to room temperature on a rack. Refrigerate overnight.
To serve, run the tip of a sharp paring knife around the outer edge of the cake to separate it from the pan. Release the springform, remove the outer ring, and place the cheesecake on a serving platter. Sprinkle toffee bits over the top right before serving.
Per serving: Calories 648 (From fat 396); Total fat 44g (Saturated 26g); Cholesterol 187mg; Sodium 431mg; Carbohydrates 55g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 11g.
Cheesecake can be sticky to cut and serve. Use a very sharp, thin-bladed knife and dip it in very hot water before slicing; doing so works wonders. Some people even use dental floss to cut the cake! Cut a long piece of floss, at least 2 feet long. Wind the ends around your fingers, hold tight and use it to slice through the cake. Just don’t use mint flavored!