Xmas Treat

December 24, 2006

What are you having for dessert after Christmas dinner? We just had pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, so this is what we’re having:

Cheesecake

Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake
(from The Gourmet Cookbook, 2004)

FOR CRUST
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from five 4 3/4-by-2 1/4-inch crackers)
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

FOR FILLING
1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon bourbon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

OPTIONAL GARNISH: pecan halves

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: a 9- to 9 1/2-inch springform pan

MAKE THE CRUST: Invert bottom of springform pan (to make it easier to slide cake off bottom), then lock on side and butter pan. Stir together crumbs, pecans, sugars, and butter in a bowl until combined. Press crumb mixture into bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan. Chill crust for 1 hour.

MAKE THE FILLING: Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and bourbon in a bowl until combined. Stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in a large bowl. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth. Pour filling into crust and smooth top. Put cheesecake on a baking sheet with sides and bake until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool for 5 minutes. (Leave oven on.)

MAKE THE TOPPING: Whisk together sour cream, sugar, and bourbon in a bowl. Spread on top of cheesecake and bake for 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen it, then cool completely in pan on rack, about 3 hours. Refrigerate cheesecake, covered, for at least 4 hours. Bring cheesecake to room temperature before serving. Garnish with pecans, if desired.

Now, you could leave the bourbon out, but why in the world would you do that? And not having any in the house is no excuse. In fact, that’s a great excuse to go and buy some bourbon whiskey.

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2 Responses to “Xmas Treat”

  1. Dave Bonta Says:

    We had apple-cranberry pie with a crumb topping and a deliciously flakey, 100% whole wheat crust. (I made the crust. Can you tell?)

  2. Evonne Says:

    I’m not into spiffy cheesecakes. I perfer the plan old boring ones without any flare but this sounds like something Lanette would love to try. She loves to do cheesecakes of ever variety.


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