Thanksgiving is the food holiday. We all know this. It is the quintessential day for cooking, baking, and eating all sorts of autumn foods. It is the ideal holiday for me to host because I LOVE to cook and bake and I love fall. The problem is, I don’t have a house big enough to host my whole family… yet. But my husband and I have always said that when we buy our next house, it will be big enough to host Thanksgiving. That’s one of our essential criteria. I did host one year when we had a “fluke” year and the whole family couldn’t be together. I loved it. People came and went and we got to see lots of friends and family for different parts of the meal. It was fabulous. But I still long to host my entire family for a beautiful Thanksgiving feast.
Until then, I enjoy experimenting with different recipes for my “would be” Thanksgiving. And instead of having one big meal where we stuff ourselves too full to really appreciate all the aspects of the feast, I try something new here and there and we break it in with a simple meal where we’re already familiar with the other components. Then we can really appreciate and critique the new recipe. We have Thanksgiving “month” in a way. Here is one of the recipes I tried lately. We love ourselves some good cheesecake so why not make it pumpkin? And I frequently make homemade caramel sauce, so why not combine the two? I added the pecan component in the crust and topping because it’s another flavor of Thanksgiving and one of my favorite nuts. So if you’re looking for something different to try for your Thanksgiving dessert, look no further! It got our stamp of approval! And although I’m not in charge of dessert this year, my mom is and after she tried this cheesecake at our house, she decided she’s going to make it so I passed along the recipe.
I so wish I had a good picture of it, but I don’t. A new camera is on my Christmas wishlist! 😉 Just close your eyes and imagine the cool, creamy cheesecake filling in a nice, crunchy crust just dripping with luscious caramel sauce and toasted pecans! The handy printable is at the end of the post for your convenience.
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- ¾ cup pecan crumbs
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 stick melted salted butter
- 3(8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
- 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsps vanilla extract
Salted Caramel Sauce:
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tsps vanilla
- ½ tsp of kosher salt
Pulse the graham crackers and pecans in a food processor until ground together. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter and pulse until combined. Press into the bottom of a greased 9” spring form pan.
Whip the cream cheese until soft and smooth. Add the pumpkin, eggs, sour cream, and sugar and whip until combined. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, flour, and vanilla and whip together until smooth. Pour over the crust.
Cover the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil and wrap it up the sides of the pan. Place it in a water bath of warm water and bake at 350* for an hour and a half, or until baked through.
For the caramel sauce, start by melting the butter on the stove in a medium saucepan. Add the brown sugar and stir until smooth. Add the heavy cream and simmer (stirring occasionally) for about 10 minutes, or until thickened. Add the vanilla and salt and let cool.
Toast some pecans in a skillet on the stove. Pour over some of the caramel sauce to “candy” the nuts. Cook down for a few minutes. Pour the pecans (and extra caramel) over a slice of cheesecake!
Here’s your printable: pumpkin cheesecake