Roasted Pumpkin and Salted Caramel Cheesecake
Yield: One 9-inch cheesecake
Some of the season's most succulent flavors come together in this lovely creation. Despite its elegant appearance it is surprisingly simple to put together!
For the crust
- 2 cups gingersnap crumbs Add to list
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), melted Add to list
- 1/4 cup brown sugar Add to list
For the filling
- 1 medium sugar pie pumpkin Add to list
- 24 ounces cream cheese, softened Add to list
- 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk Add to list
- 1 1/4 cups unrefined sugar Add to list
- 1/3 cup sour cream Add to list
- 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour Add to list
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg Add to list
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves Add to list
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon Add to list
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract Add to list
- 1/4 cup Hot Cakes salted caramel sauce, plus extra for drizzling (or use your favorite caramel sauce) Add to list
To make the crust
Combine all of the ingredients and press into a 9-inch springform pan.
To make the filling
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Cut the pumpkin in half crosswise and roast, cut side down, for about 30 minutes or until fork tender. Cool slightly and scrape out the seeds. Scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor until smooth. You will need 2 cups for the filling.
Reduce oven temperature to 350° F.
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth then beat in the eggs and egg yolk until incorporated. Beat in 2 cups of the pumpkin puree, the sugar, sour cream, flour, spices, vanilla and caramel sauce. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Heat a little of the extra caramel sauce and drizzle a pattern over the top.
Bake at 350° F for about 1 hour or until the center is set. Let rest for 20 minutes and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
Chef notes on this recipe and cheesecake in general:
Working with roasted pumpkin: Sometimes freshly roasted pumpkin will be quite moist (depending on the growing season and region). If your puree is very watery, preheat oven to 375° F. Spread the pureed pumpkin out on a baking sheet and put it in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until some of the moisture evaporates. Let this cool before proceeding with the recipe. (A delightful substitute for pumpkin is butternut squash which has a firmer texture.)
Substituting canned pumpkin: This cheesecake easily can be baked with organic canned pumpkin. Substitute one 15-ounce can for the roasted pumpkin in the recipe.
Cracking up: All cheesecakes baked in wider pans have a tendency to develop small cracks due to their very nature. (Cheesecakes were originally cooked as a custard, using small ramekins seated in a water bath.) This particular recipe will sometimes get small cracks along the caramel lines. I think it adds to the beauty and uniqueness, but if you are a perfectionist about cracks, just pour a small drizzle of caramel into the crack after the cheesecake is cool to even it out, or garnish it with slices of apple or pear. Whipped cream never hurts either!
How to tell when it's done: It is very easy to overbake cheesecake. Cheesecake is not actually a cake. As I mentioned above, it's a custard-based dessert and thus will still be moist in the center when it is done. The general rule of thumb for telling doneness is that it will be firmly set around the edges and will have just a bit of sway in the center. This will set when it is fully chilled. If you do overbake it, sometimes a large, deep crack will develop as it cools. Just fill it with caramel, gingersnap crumbs or devise a lovely garnish. And most of all SMILE! It will still be delicious!!
Recipe by, PCC Chef
Source: Demonstrated on KING 5's "Gardening with Ciscoe" show, which aired on October 22, 2011.
ABOUT OUR CHEF: Lynne Vea
Lynne Vea is a graduate of the Executive Chef Program at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and has been cooking with PCC Natural Markets since 2001. Featured on King-5’s "Gardening with Ciscoe," she demonstrates easy and delicious recipes using seasonal ingredients.
Lynne is an admired PCC Cooks instructor, teaching a variety of popular PCC Cooks classes throughout the year.
She loves to collect old cookbooks, hunt for wild berries, and cook seven-course dinners where the guests are encouraged to dance and cavort between courses.
Find more recipes from Lynne.