Rich, decadent (and sexy) pumpkin cheesecake with walnut caramel recipe

This recipe is for deep dish, two-layer pumpkin cheesecake made in a 10" spring-form pan.

For the crust:

6 Tbsp unsalted butter

24 graham crackers

1. In a small saucepan or the microwave, melt the butter.

2. Place graham crackers in a plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin until finely crushed, or process in food processor.

3. Measure 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs into a medium bowl.

4. Add melted butter to the graham crackers.

5. Stir together with your hands.

6. Press into the bottom of a 10" spring-form pan.

For the cheesecake:[image-1]

1 pie pumpkin (or 1-15oz can pumpkin puree)

3 blocks (24 ounces) cream cheese, softened

7 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. If using a whole pumpkin, cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds and place cut-side down on an oiled cookie sheet. Roast for 30-45 minutes until soft. Let cool completely, the scoop out flesh and puree until smooth.

3. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment beat 4 eggs and sugar together until pale yellow in color. Add softened cream cheese and vanilla and mix on medium high speed. Pour cheesecake batter over crust, spreading evenly.

4. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment beat remaining 3 eggs on medium high speed. Add pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Mix well, and pour evenly on top of cheesecake layer.

4.  Bake for 60 minutes on a cookie sheet to catch any spills. Rotate pan after 1 hour, reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely, covered with a clean towel. Refrigerate overnight.

5. Serve each piece drizzled with walnut caramel.

For walnut caramel:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup toasted walnuts

In a heavy bottomed sauce pot on medium heat sugar, whisking, until it melts and turns an amber color. Whisk in butter a little at a time. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in cream. Add toasted walnuts to caramel sauce.

What says "autumn" more than pumpkins? We use these cute and happy looking squash for everything from food to decorations. Carving jack 'o lanterns is one of my most cherished events at Halloween.

With the help of my handsome and talented husband (can you tell I had to butter him up?), we created this massive, delicious and, dare I say, sexy pumpkin cheesecake. I am not much of a baker, but I must say this was actually quite easy to do. The hardest part was waiting for it to set up overnight.

The cheesecake batter forms the bottom layer and the pumpkin filling is poured on top. As it bakes, the cheesecake wraps itself around the pumpkin, turning it into a middle layer. The caramel sauce with walnuts puts the whole thing over the top.

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