Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I hope you made that wonderful spiced pecan pumpkin butter (see previous blog--filed under fruit sauces and butters). If you did, then you can make this cheesecake which is unbelievably good. You can't substitute pumpkin puree for the pumpkin butter unless you make other changes to the recipe -- you would have to increase the sugar and the spices. (I added chocolate and peanut butter to this cheesecake, which you don't have to do, but think about it, because it really adds some interesting flavors. I'm giving you the recipe without those ingredients, but if you want to add them, try adding about 1/4 - 1/3 cup peanut butter and about 2 Tbsp. cocoa.)
And, although the cheesecake is wonderful as is, a drizzle of chocolate sundae sauce followed by a drizzle of caramel sundae sauce would really top it off nicely. I'm watching my sugar, so I didn't add the drizzles. You'll notice that I used whole-wheat flour for the crust. We have to add those whole grains wherever we can, right? The crust is wonderful on this cake, and no one will know it's whole-wheat flour unless you tell them.

Pecan Pumpkin Butter Cheesecake
CRUST: 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup toasted pecans
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt

FILLING: 24 oz. cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese (3 8-oz. pkgs.)
3/4 cup white sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 cup spiced pecan pumpkin butter
3 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. flour

DIRECTIONS: CRUST: Preheat oven to 350F. Set out a cookie sheet lined with tinfoil and an 8" springform pan lined with parchment paper that has been cut to fit the bottom. Have all ingredients at room temperature before starting.

In work bowl of 11-cup food processor, combine butter, brown sugar, and pecans. Pulse for a minute or two, or till well combined and pecans are ground. Scrape down sides and bottom as necessary. Add flour and salt and pulse just till combined. Set aside 1 cup of dough for topping. Press remaining into bottom of springform pan, and about 1 inch up sides. Bake 12-14 minutes, or till golden, slightly puffy and set. Transfer to wire rack to cool slightly while filling is prepared.

FILLING: Using same work bowl (not necessary to clean it), combine the cream cheese, pumpkin butter (and peanut butter and cocoa if adding) and sugar and pulse about 2 minutes or till well combined, scraping sides and bottom as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, pulsing just till combined after each one. Add cream, cinnamon, vanilla and flour and pulse till combined. Pour over crust, sprinkle with reserved topping, and place in oven. Immediately reduce heat to 325F and bake 55-70 minutes, or till center is almost set. Turn oven off, leave door halfway open, and let cheesecake sit in half-opened oven for about 20-30 minutes, or till center is about set. Transfer to cooling rack to finish cooling (at least 2 hours), then place in fridge, covered, to ripen overnight. (You can run a knife or spatula around the edges of the cheesecake to loosen the sides while it's cooling.)

If desired, drizzle each cheesecake slice with some chocolate sundae sauce and/or some caramel sundae sauce. Yield: about 8 servings.

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