I had a sugar pie pumpkin to use up and a giant, Costco-sized round of Saltspring Island chevre… What to do but make cheesecake!? Only basically my favourite thing in the world… Be warned though – I’m not sure if it was the cake itself, or the gingersnap, pecan crust (but probably both), I had the most wicked bout of heartburn in my life and had to give most of the cake away.
1/3 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 lb cream cheese (substitute chevre – room temperature)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup pecan halves
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
Preheat oven 350F. The recipe says grease the pan but really, with that crust, do you need to? I think not.
Add gingersnaps, pecan halves, brown sugar and melted butter in a food processor and pulse to combine. Transfer to 9″ springform pan and using your fingers, pat the mixture into the bottom and evenly up the sides. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
Mix brown sugar and spices. In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy (electric mixer recommended – I’ve never had such a good workout…). Add brown sugar mixture and beat until smooth. Add in eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Add pumpkin and beat until smooth. Pour batter onto chilled crust.
Bake until set or until knife inserted in the centre comes out clean – about 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Set aside 10 pecan halves and coarsely chop the remaining. In a skillet, over med-high heat, melt the butter, add all pecans, and sprinkle with sugar, stirring until sugar melts and nuts are toasted and caramel coated. Transfer to a plate and let cool (ensuring your 10 halves are not sticking to other pieces). Just before serving, sprinkle chopped pecans over cheesecake and arrange halves evenly around perimeter.
Source: EAT magazine, Nov/Dec 2009