Archive for the ‘David Lebovitz’ Category

Pumpkin cheesecake with pecan crust and whiskey-caramel topping (David Lebovitz)

November 25, 2011

Makes one 23cm cheesecake, 12 to 14 servings.

For the crust:
150g pecans, toasted
45g packed light brown sugar
45g unsalted or salted butter, melted
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the filling:
675g cream cheese, at room temperature
250g granulated sugar
Grated zest of ½ lemon, preferably organic
4 large eggs, at room temperature
15g plain flour
120g plain whole-milk yoghurt
1 tin (425g) pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Large pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping:
85 g salted butter, cut into small pieces
125ml double cream
215g packed dark brown sugar
60ml corn or glucose syrup or agave nectar
½ teaspoon salt
60ml whiskey
150g pecan pieces, toasted
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

This recipe uses tinned pumpkin rather than home-cooked fresh pumpkin simply because the moisture content is consistent and no one wants to take any chances with a cheesecake after spending all that money on cream cheese.
This is a fantastic holiday recipe, and as with regular cheesecakes, the secret to great results is to begin with all the ingredients at room temperature and to not overbeat the filling.

Preheat the oven to 180C (gas mark 4). Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 23cm springform tin. To make the crust, in a food processor fitted with the
metal blade, pulse the 150g pecans, light brown sugar, 45g melted butter, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon until the nuts are in fine pieces and the mixture begins to hold together. Transfer the mixture to the prepared springform tin and press it evenly into the bottom and a little way up the sides. Bake until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes. Leave to cool completely.

Wrap a large sheet of aluminium foil around the outside of the springform tin, making sure it’s absolutely watertight. Set the tin in a large roasting pan. To make the filling, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and lemon zest on medium-low speed just until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until completely incorporated.

Mix in the yoghurt, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, large pinch of salt, and vanilla until combined.

Scrape the filling into the crust in the tin. Pour hot water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the outside of the springform tin. Bake until the edges are just set and the center still quivers, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the cheesecake stand in the bain marie for 30 minutes. Dip the blade of a sharp knife in hot water and run it around the sides of the cheesecake to loosen it from the sides of the tin, then remove the cheesecake from the bain marie. Leave to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.

To make the topping, in a medium saucepan, bring the 85g salted butter, the cream, dark brown sugar, corn or glucose syrup or agave nectar, and ½ teaspoon salt to a gentle but full boil stirring gently until the sugar dissolves.
Cook for 2 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the whiskey and 150g pecan pieces. Leave to cool to room temperature and stir in the lemon juice.

Serve the cheesecake chilled or at room temperature. Cut into wedges and spoon topping over each serving.

Storage: The cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The topping should be made the day of serving; if chilled, it will lose its shine and will need to be rewarmed.