No disrespect, pumpkin pie. You come to the table with a lot of tradition. But sometimes you’re a little, well, boring.
I’ve dolled up my share of pumpkin cheesecakes. Lately, I’m loving honey bourbons and exotic flavors. I added a dose of Jim Beam Honey and a little Chinese five spice to my latest pumpkin cheesecake on a ginger oatmeal cookie crust. That crack that always happens on top while baking cheesecakes? It will be hidden under a thick coating of honey bourbon caramel sauce dotted with toasted pecans.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice, if desired
2 tablespoons honey bourbon, if desired
One 15-ounce can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the caramel sauce:
1-1/2 cups caramel sauce
1/4 cup honey bourbon
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
Prepare the crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, ginger and salt. Make a well in the center of the bowl, and pour in the melted butter. Stir until the dough comes together, slightly. Pour the crust into a 9-inch springform pan. Press the mixture evenly and firmly onto the bottom of the pan. Bake about 15 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, Chinese five spice, honey bourbon and pumpkin until well blended. Set aside.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in brown and granulated sugars until mixture is smooth. On low speed, beat in 1 egg at a time until each egg is just blended. Add vanilla and gradually beat in pumpkin mixture until smooth.
Set cooled crust in springform pan on a baking sheet. Pour filling over cooled crust in springform pan. Bake cake on baking sheet for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until center of cheesecake is set but jiggles slightly. Turn oven off, but open the oven door at least 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 30 minutes.
Cool cheesecake in springform pan on wire rack 30 minutes and then in the refrigerator overnight.
Prepare caramel sauce: Pour caramel in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in bourbon and cook until sauce is heated, about 5 minutes. Stir in chopped pecans.
Serve: Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Carefully remove side of pan and transfer cake to a serving platter. Pour caramel sauce over entire cake or individual slices.