I browsed a few outrageous pie recipes online in preparation for Thanksgiving. I was in charge of a dessert and veggies. Funny, right? When I brought a few recipe ideas to the husband, they all were shot down. Too fancy. He is a fan of cheesecake and he likes pumpkin pie. So I combined those two loves and added a homemade caramel sauce just to fancify it a bit. This was a hit with all of us. My personal faves were the gingersnap crust and caramel sauce. I could have just eaten those two elements. Ha! I am hoping to modify this and make it into bars for Christmas when his family visits.
Baking cheesecake does take some time, so plan accordingly. And it is worth your time to enjoy this treat once in a while.
Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake adapted from McCormick’s website
Graham Cracker Crust:
2 cups gingersnap crumbs (for me this was about 30 cookies and about 9 oz.)
4 tablespoons butter, melted (or 1/2 a stick)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon maple extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
4 – 8 oz. Cool Whip or whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F. For the crust, mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Press evenly into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
- For the filling, beat cream cheese and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. (Do not over mix!) Add pumpkin, cornstarch, maple extract, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt; beat until smooth. Pour into crust.
- Bake 50 minutes or until top is lightly browned and center is almost set. Turn off oven; let cheesecake stand in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven. Run small knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on wire rack.
- Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator. When ready to serve, cover with your Cool Whip. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Optional (but not really) caramel sauce
- 1 cup, packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons butter (or 1/2 a stick)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
Add everything but the vanilla to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook while whisking for 5-10 minutes, until sauce thickens. Add vanilla and cook another minute. Turn off heat and let it cool. Pour sauce into a jar and refrigerate. Warm lightly in the microwave to get to the consistency you prefer. This would be great on ice cream, fruit, your finger, etc.
The pie itself isn’t packed with sugar, so this creamy, dreamy caramel sauce adds a little sugar high for you.
You want to whip the cream cheese, but only beat in the eggs until they are incorporated. If you mix too much, your cheesecake will crack. Of course, you can always smear whipped cream on top of the pie and no one will know anyway!
The Pilgrims joined us for Thanksgiving dinner. As well as Santa in the background there. Such a festive celebration!
A view of the pie from the side. No great staging photos because we were hungry. Duh.
The caramel sauce is super sweet and just delicious. I’d eat it on about anything.
I know cheesecake is a little more effort than cookies or bars, but it really makes for a nice presentation and people always like it. Go the extra mile and make it for your holiday party. Enjoy!