Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bourbon maple pumpkin cheesecake

Why yes, this WAS delicious. And, as you can see from the smears on the plate, we all had seconds.

The source material was a Food Network recipe that one of my co-workers tracked down for me when I was feeling some have-to-find-a-dessert-but-don't-feel-like-it malaise a day or two before Thanksgiving, but I changed it a fair bit, decreasing the sugar quite a bit, increasing the spices a lot, using gingersnaps instead of graham crackers in the crust...

The recipe called for a 9" springform pan, but I only had a 10" springform or a 9" square pan and since it was a relatively not-so-tall cake to start with, I decided not to use the larger pan. A couple of my friends were (ahem) lucky enough to get emails from me Wednesday night with my convoluted attempts to make sure that a 9" square pan actually held the same volume of dessert that a 9" round pan did. The numbers were WILDLY OFF — according to my maths, the round pan held more than three times as much as the square one (3.14 times as much, as a matter of fact), and I was just about positive that wasn't the case — but I figured I was using the wrong formula to figure out the area of at least one of the shapes. Or possibly applying the wrong numbers to the formulas. Or both.

But what I lack in junior high school-level math skills, I make up for in dessert skills. (I'm sure there's a terrible joke involving pi/pie just begging to be made here, but I can't quite put my finger on it.)

Also, mine needed to bake for a lot longer than the recipe specified, which I am attributing to the fact that the original called for something called "deli-style cream cheese" and I used blocks of Phildelphia cream cheese. I suspect that "deli-style" is secret code for "artifically softened and easily spreadable, possibly gross," so encourage you to ignore all of this, use real cream cheese and just bake it until it's set.

Bourbon Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 c. finely chopped pecans
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. gingersnap crumbs
2 T unsalted butter, softened
1 egg yolk

1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 t. ground ginger
3/4 t. allspice
1/2. kosher salt
1 1/2 lb. cream cheese
1/2 c. maple syrup
2 T bourbon
1/8 c. sour cream

1 c. sour cream
1 t. bourbon
1 t. sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9" springform pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
Combine the crust ingredients and press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.

Turn the oven down to 300.

Combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs and spices in a large bowl. Set aside.
Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, maple syrup and bourbon until smooth. Combine with the pumpkin mixture and sour cream. Pour over prebaked crust.

Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until the center shows little to no movement when the pan is tapped. Set aside to cool for 15 min. Turn oven back up to 350.

Combine the topping ingredients and spread over the cooled cheesecake. Bake for 10 min. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 min. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until well chilled, preferably overnight.

[originally published on my old food blog 11.20.2008]

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