Pumpkin Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Sauce

From the Thermador and Tastespotting Ultimate Recipe Contest

Submitted by: Jaclyn Bell
http://cookingclassy.blogspot.com

The combination of pumpkin and cheesecake, finished off with salted caramel sauce just takes this dessert over the top. The perfect go-to Thanksgiving dessert. It is simply divine.   


1 3/4 cups crushed graham crackers (from 14 sheets)
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
6 Tbsp salted butter, melted
3 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened (Jaclyn recommends using Philadelphia)
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger1
1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks

Topping:
caramel sauce, store bought or homemade (recipe follows)
coarse sea salt
sweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)

To prepare crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix together crushed graham crackers and light-brown sugar (being sure to break up any clumps of the brown sugar). Pour in melted butter and mix until mixture is evenly coated. Firmly press mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan coming within about 1-inch of the top edge. Bake in preheated oven for 8-9 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool while preparing filling. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

To prepare filling:
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on low speed, blend together cream cheese, light-brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth, about - 30 seconds. Mix in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add in pumpkin and vanilla and mix on low speed just until combined. Add in whole eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition just until combine, then add in egg yolks and mix just until combine. Lift and tap mixing bowl against the counter several times to release air bubbles from mixture. Pour mixture into graham cracker crust and bake in preheated oven (325 degrees) for 1 hour, then turn oven off and allow cheesecake to rest in oven 20 - 25 minutes (without opening oven door). Remove from oven and allow to cool 15 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and chill 5 hours. Slice and drizzle each serving with a generous amount of caramel sauce, sprinkle with a generous pinch of coarse sea salt then top with optional sweetened whipped cream. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Caramel Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup salted butter
2/3 cup heavy cream

Gather all of your ingredients and have them nearby ready to add to the mixture as needed. In a heavy-bottomed 3 quart saucepan, heat sugar and water over moderately high heat whisking constantly to dissolve sugar. Once mixture reaches a boil, stop whisking and allow mixture to boil until it reaches a dark amber color, carefully swirling pan occasionally. Once mixture reaches a dark amber color, immediately add butter and whisk until butter has melted then immediately remove from heat. Wait 3 seconds then carefully pour in cream and immediately whisk to combine (it will bubble vigorously). Whisk until mixture is smooth. Allow caramel to cool several minutes then pour into a glass jar to cool completely.