A note about water baths: Kate talked about water baths a little in her cheesecake post. While cheesecake enthusiasts will tell you it’s essential to always use one, from my experience, some cheesecakes do okay without them (like Kate’s recipe) and others really need them to turn out well. I think it depends on the recipe. This one needs a water bath.The crust is one of my favorite parts; a mix of gingersnap cookies and pecans
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 3/4 C gingersnap crumbs (about 30 small cookies)
6T real butter, melted
3 T brown sugar
3/4 C ground pecans
3 8oz blocks cream cheese
3/4 C canned pumpkin puree
6 oz melted white chocolate (that’s about 1 C white chocolate chips)
1 C sugar
2 t vanilla
1/4 t nutmeg
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t cloves
– 1 C whipping cream, beat with 1/2 tsp vanilla and 4 Tbs powdered sugar until medium peaks form.
– 1/3 C roughly chopped pecans, either toasted or caramelized
– 2 Tablespoons jarred caramel sauce
Preheat oven to 350. Using 2 large pieces of heavy duty foil, securely wrap the bottom and outside of your cheesecake pan. This will prevent leaks when using the water bath.
Use a food processor to crush gingersnaps. Then do pecans. Combine gingersnaps, pecans, brown sugar, and butter and stir well to combine. Press into a 9″ spring form pan. Evenly spread across the bottom of pan and up the sides about 1 inch.
To melt chocolate, place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Set aside.
With an electric mixer beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time. Add pumpkin, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.
With the mixer running, slowly add in white chocolate in a steady stream (or steady blobs).
Pour mixture on top of the crust.
For water bath:
Place cheesecake pan inside of a larger pan. I use a roasting pan, like this. (and by “like this” I mean its appearance, because I most certainly did not pay $270 for mine) Place your cheesecake pan into larger pan. The larger pan should be at least 2-3 inches in depth. Place in pre-heated oven. With a kettle or pitcher filled with hot water, pour water into the larger pan about halfway up, or approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches.
Bake for 60-75 minutes or until set. The center should be just a tad bit jiggly still. It will finish cooking while cooling.
When it’s done, remove from oven and place on a rack until completely cool. Place in the fridge for at least 12 hours. This is a very soft cheesecake so sufficient chilling is a must!
When ready to serve spread sweetened whipped cream on top, drizzle caramel sauce over it, and sprinkle with pecans.