Friday, November 2, 2012

{recipe} bourbon pecan pumpkin cheesecake

So... um... this happened on Halloween. Who cares that I have a million and one pieces of candy floating around my house because the children did not show up in large masses like expected. Who caressss that my parents could only eat this for two nights before they leave for their big anniversary trip? ...which means that I am stuck with half of this cheesecake.. just staring me in the face every time I open the refrigerator.

Y'all. I've made cheesecakes before. Making one of them is a really great way to use up all of those pesky peanut butter cups you have laying around. The other is actually another pumpkin cheesecake recipe. Both were delicious. This one is... phenomenal. And it has bourbon in it. Need I say more?

Seriously. Already planning on including it into our Thanksgiving line-up. I'm not going to lie and tell you that this is not time intensive. It really is. The great part about cheesecake though, is that you have to chill it for hours before it is ready to be served. Make this the day before Thanksgiving and stick it in the refrigerator overnight. Easy as pie.

Click on through to Smitten Kitchen's blog to see pictures that actually do this cheesecake justice! The sun had already set by the time I could take the springform off of it.

Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake:
recipe adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen


For crust:
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from five 4 3/4 - by 2 1/4 inch crackers). I just buy the box of graham cracker crumbs. Way easier!
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted & cooled
For filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons half & half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (8 oz) packages 1/3 less fat cream cheese, at room temperature
For topping:
  • 2 cups light sour cream (20 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (optional)
Garnish: pecan halves

Directions: First, set out your cream cheese so that it will come to room temperature and melt your butter so that it will cool.
  • To make crust:
    • Lock side of springform pan and butter / spray.
    • Stir together crumbs, pecans, sugars, and butter in a bowl until combined well. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1/2 inch up side of pan, then chill crust in refrigerator for one hour.
  • Make filling and bake cheesecake: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350* F.
    • Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liqueur (if using) in a medium bowl until combined.
    • Stir together the granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
    • Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy & smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.
    • Poor filling into crust, smoothing top, then put springform pan in a shallow baking pan (in case springform leaks). Bake until center is just set, 50-60 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 minutes. Leave oven on.
  • Make topping:
    • Whisk together sour cream, sugar, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl, then spread on top of cheesecake and bake 5 additional minutes.
  • Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 3 hours.
  • Place pecans as garnish and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.
  • Chill, covered, until cold at least 4 hours. Remove side of pan and ENJOY!

*Notes on my changes. I always make cheesecakes with less fatty ingredients. I just can't consciously put whole fat cream, cream cheese, and sour cream into mine. I know a lot of people will say that it makes the cheesecake texture different, or make it taste weird, but I'm here to tell you that it doesn't! I'm all for indulging a little bit healthier. :)

In case you were wondering what the sour cream layer is for, it covers the cracking top layer of the cheesecake and adds a tartness that cuts perfectly through the sweet pumpkin layer. I hope that you enjoy this recipe! It is definitely one that I will be coming back to many times throughout the years.

xo, Jen


  1. I am a HUGE fan of cheesecake. You can always mail me those leftovers? Haha

    I feel like you need to open your own restaurant and bakery! I would totally plan a trip there after always seeing these amazing foods! You're so talented!

    1. haha you are too sweet! I am way too scared of the restaurant business after watching Hell's Kitchen. :-P

  2. Ummmm. Can you deliver? My mouth is watering right now because I want this so badly!

  3. oh goodness gracious this looks so heavenly!! wow oh wow i gotta make this cheesecake it looks amazing

  4. Hello Dear! I like your blog so much! Would you like to follow each other? :)


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