Sunday, November 18, 2007

pumpkin cheesecake with praline sauce

so, another idea for thanksgiving dessert is another favorite, pumpkin cheesecake. it always goes over very well and is a great alternative to a traditional pie.

1 T. butter, softened
1 1/4 c. finely chopped pecans
1/4 c. fine dry bread crumbs
2 T. sugar
2 T. butter, melted

4 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 c. sugar
5 eggs
1/4 c. flour
2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 (16oz.) can pumpkin

1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. butter
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. chopped pecans (optional for non-nut lovers)
1/2 t. vanilla

heat oven to 350 degrees. butter 9" springform pan using 1 T. butter. in medium bowl, combine 1 1/4 c. pecans, bread crumbs and 2 T. sugar. drizzle melted butter oer pecan mixture; toss to combine. press into botom and up sides of buttered pan. refrigerate.

in large bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth and creamy. gradually beat in 1 c. brown sugar and 2/3 c. sugar until smooth. at low speed, add 5 eggs, 1 at a time. beat just until blended. in small bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin; mix well. gradually add to cream cheese mixute; beat until smooth. pour into crust-lined pan.

bake at 350° for 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until center is set. turn oven off; let cake stand in oven 30 minutes with door open at least 4 inches. remove from oven. run sharp knife around sides of pan. cool to room temp. on wire rack. cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.

in small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 c. brown sugar, water and 1/4 c. brown sugar, water and 1/4 c. butter. bring to a boil; boil 2 minutes. gradually blend small amount of hot syrup into beaten egg. return egg mixture to saucepan; cook over low heat 1 minute, stirring constantly. remove from heat; stir in 1/4 c. pecans and vanilla. remove sides of pan from cheesecake. serve sauce slightly warm over wedges of cheesecake. store in refrigerator.