Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I Heart Pumpkin (Cheesecake)

My early Thanksgiving adventure came and left. Now we are stuck with the best part of it all...the Thanksgiving leftovers! Since Friday, I've had so much turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc. I love it! Well, I was able to top last Thanksgiving (in my opinion, at least) but was not able to make the pumpkin pie I intended. Unfortunately, the grocery store I went to did not have half the ingredients I needed and I didn't feel like improvising. So instead of pumpkin pie, I made a very delectable bourbon pumpkin cheesecake. As I've stated before, pumpkin is one of the things I very rarely eat in any form. However, this pumpkin cheesecake was wonderful and since I made two (completely by accident) I have been having slice after slice. I followed the recipe below (for the most part) and ended up with two cheesecakes because the pie crusts I bought were very shallow. If you make your own crust, just be sure you make it deep enough. Also, instead of sugar, I substituted Splenda.

Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake

2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened (I used one package light, one package of honey nut)
1 1/4 cups sugar (or Splenda)
1 15-oz. can pure pumpkin puree, (if you use pumpkin-pie mix, don’t add dry spices below)
3/4 cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs

I used a package of Pillsbury ready pie crust in the freezer section of the grocery store to save time. A homemade graham cracker crust would be wonderful with this!

In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth. Then slowly beat in sugar until blended, about 1 minute, scraping bowl often with rubber spatula. With mixer at low speed, beat in pumpkin, sour cream, bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Pour pumpkin mixture into pie crust and place in large roasting pan. Place pan on oven rack. Carefully pour enough boiling water into pan to come 1 inch up side of spring form pan. Bake cheesecake 1 hour 10 minutes or until center barely jiggles.

Remove cheesecake from water bath to wire rack; discard foil. With small knife, loosen cheesecake from side of pan to help prevent cracking during cooling. Cool cheesecake completely. Cover and refrigerate cheesecake at least 6 hours or overnight, until well chilled. Remove side of pan to serve. Garnish with whipped cream and roasted pecans.

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