Recipe share: Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake
I’ve been slower about working my way through all my pumpkin recipes than I thought I would be. Things come up, other recipes beg to be tried, ingredients have to be used before they spoil… Life happens. But I finally got around to making the Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake recipe from The Pioneer Woman.
I’ve only made a real cheesecake a couple of times in my life. My husband loves it, but it is a bit of a time commitment and a refrigerator space commitment – a full-sized cheesecake takes up most of my bottom shelf, and will for several days, so I have to plan ahead.
This cheesecake is definitely full-sized. It takes four 8-ounce packages of cream cheese and fits into a 10 1/2″ springform pan. It is quite large. I learned last time to cut it into 16 pieces instead of 8; eight was HUGE. If I start at 16, everybody can just have a second one if they so desire. This seemed about the same size as a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, although I think they must cut theirs into 12 pieces each.
I really put my Oster Kitchen Center to work on this thing. First, I used the tiny food processor attachment for the gingersnaps and pecans for the crust. Then I blended the filling with the stand mixer attachment. Then, because cheesecake ABSOLUTELY HAS TO CHILL FOR SEVERAL HOURS and you can’t really eat it the night you make it, I had to make Pumpkin Smoothies in the blender attachment for dessert. 🙂
I just want to say now that the Oster Kitchen Center was a brilliant device: one motor, and you have the option of a stand mixer, blender, food processor, food slicer, and various other attachments that I don’t have. I’m really disappointed now that they don’t make them anymore, because when the motor finally burns out on mine, I’m going to have to purchase 4 major kitchen appliances all at once. I should probably start saving now, just in case.
As with most Pioneer Woman pumpkin recipes, I added more seasoning than she calls for; she always underseasons them, so I know to automatically adjust. (It’s not a mistake on her part; she just doesn’t like pumpkin pie seasonings herself. Fortunately, altering the amount of spices is the easiest adjustment to make in cooking.)
This cheesecake was definitely a keeper. It’s enormous, and the crust is enormous, but it has a lot going on: pumpkin pie flavored filling, with enough cream cheese to have a presence (my husband’s strict requirement), wonderful gingersnap crumb crust, as many pecans as you want, and caramel topping. One of the best parts was the caramel on the crust: it got hardened and gooey and even more caramelized around the edges. It was also a pain to cut, but the taste was phenomenal.
Next time I will definitely line the bottom of the springform pan with parchment paper to make it easier to get off the bottom; we really had to saw through the crust, so leaving it on the nonstick pan was not an option. I had a pretty but cheap plastic serving tray to which I transferred it, and the thing was cut up pretty badly.
Oh, and on the ubiquitous topic of cheesecakes cracking: I didn’t use any water bath or anything for this, and when I took it out of the oven it had no cracks. Then I started poking it with a knife, and while it was cooling it split almost completely in half right down the middle where I had jabbed it. Honestly, I don’t really care if my cheesecake cracks. As long as it tastes good, it’ll be fine.