Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Delicious Holiday Dessert: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Praline Topping

A couple weeks ago I was pondering over what dessert I was going to make for my family's Thanksgiving and of coarse, a Southern Living recipe it is. They are my go-to for holiday desserts  because they are so good! The only reason why I made it was because of the praline topping. I have been a big fan of praline ever since I had praline ice cream at the Ice Cream Factory and praline bars at Kirchoff's Bakery. AMAZING. Overall, it turned out so delicious. My mother and I swear that it only tastes good with the topping, or else it wouldn't be as enjoyable. It took me a few hours to make it, because I am a perfectionist when making things. I had only one challenge: when do I know when it's done baking? When you bake a cake, you stick a tooth pick in the middle to know whether or not it's done, but what about a cheesecake? How do you determine? As they say, you learn as you do things, and that I did. I noticed when I would go to take it out of the oven, that it would jiggle, and it also didn't look brown on top. I had to sit in for a while longer until it looked brown and wasn't as jiggly. After you leave it out to cool, it rises down and gets firm, so don't panic if it's still a little bit jiggly when you move it around.



2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Preparations:

    1. Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

    2. Beat cream cheese and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, beating until blended. Pour batter into prepared crust. (Pan will be very full.)
    3. Bake at 325° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

    4. Remove sides and bottom of pan, and transfer cheesecake to a serving plate. Prepare Praline Topping; immediately pour slowly over top of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/4 inch of edge. Garnish, if desired.



    1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1/3 cup whipping cream
    1/4 cup butter
    1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Boil, stirring occasionally, 1 minute; remove from heat. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Use immediately.