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Pumpkin Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Photograph by The Naptime Chef

The dessert menu is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. I love getting involved in balancing flavors, textures, and serving sizes. I geek out over flavored whipped creams and dessert sauces to the point that I keep a journal of notes from previous years so I can work on perfecting my recipes each November. In recent years one of my favorite things to do has been to replace pumpkin pie with pumpkin cheesecake. This means and don’t end up with an all-pie dessert table and it also means I can work in a little salted caramel.

The key to this classic dessert is patience. Since it is Thanksgiving dinner making this cake should be a bit of a project. It is about creating a showstopper for all of your guests; the next best option to classic apple pie. Don’t try to cut corners and fake any steps, you need this to be perfect!

The salted caramel in this recipe is drizzled over the cheesecake after it has baked and chilled. This way you get just the right amount of caramel in each bite. I used to try and swirl the caramel in but it got lost in the batter. I prefer thin ribbons drizzled over top, plus it looks fantastic!

So, if you are a dessert geek like me, here is your new favorite to serve this holiday season. Own it and enjoy!

RECIPE: Pumpkin Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 4 ½ tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 16-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup salted caramel sauce, warmed, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until they form crumbs. Press them into the bottom of the springform pan in one even layer and about 1-inch up the side of the pan. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with aluminum foil and bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the pan in a roasting pan, or a deep pan that will fit it without the springform pan touching the sides.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth. Then beat in the sugar and eggs, beating well after the addition of each egg. Then beat in the flour, pumpkin, and spice and mix well until completely smooth. Pour the filling into the graham cracker crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
  4. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until it comes halfway up the outside of the springform pan. Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the center is set. Then turn off the oven and crack it open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cake to cool in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the cake from the oven and the water bath and allow to cool completely. Cover the pan and chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
  5. To serve, remove the sides of the springform pan. Serve each slice of cheesecake with a drizzle of warm salted caramel sauce.

Recipe via The Naptime Chef

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