Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

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New camera! A fancy Canon real camera! Thank you hugely to my brother-in-law who shipped it across the country and my husband who presented it to me on my birthday! I am SO excited! I wanted something beautiful to photograph for my first use of the fancy camera and a pumpkin cheesecake would have to do.

IMG_4805Alas, it has been raining for the entire duration of this weekend. Entire. Well, for the entire duration of the lifespan of this cheesecake so the lighting wasn’t optimal but boy was it better than it has EVER been with a real camera! I can’t wait to play with this some more and get better at photographing with it!

IMG_4810Oh, I guess I should tell you about the cheesecake. Let’s see. Gingersnap crust, perfectly dense pumpkin filling, caramel slathered all over the top.

Pretty much sums it up!

Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

Adapted from onceuponachef

For the crust
1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 325 F. Line the bottom of your springform pain with aluminum foil twice, allowing for the edges to come above the side. Your cheesecake will sit in a water bath soon and you won’t want water seeping in!

Food process all of your ingredients together and press your moistened crumbs into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes and remove to cool. In the mean time, make your filling!

For the pumpkin filling
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream, cold
Three 8 ounce packages of plain cream cheese, room temperature
5 large eggs, room temperature
4 quarts hot water

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat your pumpkin, sugar, spices and salt until the sugar is melted and the mixture takes on a dark brown nutty hue (about 5 minutes of a soft simmer).

While you’re at the stove top, start heating up your water for your water bath. Cheesecakes need water baths otherwise you’ll end up a cracked cheesecake surface.

Let cool slightly by processing in a food processor. Add in your heavy cream and process until combined. Add your cream cheese about 1/3 of a package at a time until well incorporated. Finally, add in your eggs and pulse just until combined!

If you don’t have a food processor, you can do all of this with just a hand mixer. Just make extra sure to incorporate the cream cheese well. It would probably help to sift the filling at the very end into the pan to ensure a silky-smooth finish.

Either way, pour your filling onto the prepared gingersnap crust (doesn’t that just sound lovely?). Place your entire springform pan into a large roasting pan and pour the hot water into the roasting pan until your springform pain is about halfway immersed in water.

Bake the entire thing (roasting pan and all) for 1-1/2 hours until there is no jiggling! Let cool in the water bath for about 45 minutes before removing the pan. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight and then remove the springform pan, loosening the sides with a knife.

Top with homemade caramel sauce…oorrrr…with pre-made ice cream sundae caramel sauce topping (I did the later…oops…).

Want it salted? Fleur de sel on top will do it for you!

Enjoy!