Monday, November 21, 2016
A Kitchen Keeper Original - Pumpkin Cheesecake with Orange Caramel Sauce
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I know that all families have holiday traditions. Ours are probably different than yours. While we'll be having turkey with all the trimmings this year, the bird has never been the focus of our Thanksgiving feast. Thanksgiving was, is, and probably always will be about dessert in this house. When the children were home, everyone got to pick the dessert they wanted to end the meal. There was always a pumpkin, an apple, a mincemeat and a lemon meringue pie sitting on the sideboard, and because they were so popular back in the day, you'd also find loaves of cranberry and pumpkin bead waiting to be sliced. This year I'm updating some of those traditional desserts, so I'm going to serve a luscious pumpkin and orange cheesecake instead of pumpkin pie. It's a bit of a pother to make, but one bite of this rich and creamy cake will have your socks going up and down. Despite what you may have heard, I do not have nerves of steel, so I make and freeze the cake the weekend before the holiday. I move it to the refrigerator to thaw the night before I want to serve it, so while it takes up valuable space, it makes the cook's life much easier come the big day. This cake has a lovely creamy texture and its faintly orange flavor is enhanced with a caramel sauce that is also orange flavored. It's a lovely riff on an old favorite and I know those of you who try the recipe will love the cake. Here is how it is made.
Pumpkin Cheesecake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
18 (2-inch) gingersnaps, broken into pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans toasted
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 (15-oz.) cans solid pack pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
5 large eggs
4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups golden brown sugar
1) To make crust: Grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 2-1/2-inch or higher springform pan. Process gingersnaps with pecans, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in bowl of a food processor until cookies become fine crumbs, about 20 seconds. Add melted butter and pulse about 10 times, just until incorporated. Using back of a spoon, press crumb mixture into base and partway up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Use a flat-bottomed glass to press crumbs into bottom of pan to form an even layer. Wrap the outside of the pan with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent leaking. Cover the crust with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
2) To make filling: Drain or strain liquid from pumpkin puree by placing it on paper towels. Cover top of puree with additional toweling and gently squeeze to remove liquid from puree.
Replace towels as needed. Continue squeezing until you are left with 2 cups of puree.
Combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg, and cloves (if using) in a bowl. Mix in orange zest, orange liqueur, vanilla and salt. Add pumpkin puree and work into mixture with a wooden spoon.Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Using paddle attachment, combine cream cheese and brown sugar in bowl of an electric stand mixer and cream until mixture is perfectly smooth. Gradually add pumpkin mixture until fully incorporated. Meanwhile, bring a kettle of water to a boil.
3) To assemble: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Wrap pan containing crust in a triple layer of heavy duty aluminum foil that reaches up to its top rim. Pour cream cheese mixture into springform pan, then transfer it to center of a large roasting pan placed on middle rack of oven. Pour boiling water into roasting pan so that it comes halfway up the side of springform pan. Cook for 1-1/2 hours, then turn off oven, propping door open. Let cheesecake sit in oven for another hour. Then transfer it to a cooling rack and let it come to room temperature. Once it is at room temperature, transfer, while still in pan, to refrigerator to chill for 3 to 24 hours before serving.
4) To serve: Run a warm knife around edges of cheesecake, then unlock springform and lift off sides. Serve with orange caramel sauce and whipped cream. Yield: 12 to 16 servings.
Orange Caramel Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
Shortly before serving, melt butter and brown sugar together in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add orange juice and simmer until the mixture is thick and smooth. Stir in orange zest and set aside.
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