It has been a long challenging 12 months. My mom passed away unexpectedly in December, my mother-in-law is now in a skilled nursing facility and no longer recognizes us. We moved across country to Cleveland, OH and I lost my passion, not just my passion for cooking, but my passion for everything. Bill was traveling all the time, I was working 12 hour days. I felt isolated and miserable. I knew something had to change. I needed to shift my priorities back to the important things in life.
In July, after much soul searching, we decided to downsize our life, change jobs and move to my favorite place on earth, Southern California. I am amazed at how quickly we have adjusted. I am much happier, healthier and back to doing things I love.
Last night, we finally were able to have dinner with our friends Danny and Stephanie. Eager to use my new kitchen and motivated to blog again, I wanted to bring the perfect dessert. I love cheesecake and have wanted to make one after unpacking the springform pan. It is fall and I love pumpkin…I made a Pumpkin Cheesecake paired with my favorite Bourbon Sauce (see Bread Pudding). I added pecans to give some crunch and topped with whipped cream. It was pretty awesome….for a different twist try chocolate crumbs for the crust.
I will be making it again. and again.
Hint: use a water bath to cook cheesecake. Helps ensure an even cook and prevents the top from cracking! My Le Creuset worked great.
I am super excited to be back to sharing great memories with you! Watch over the next few days, I will be posting details on all the wine we enjoyed.
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- ⅓ cup butter melted
- 1½ cup graham crackers crumbs
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 3 8oz package cream cheese softened
- 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 15 oz can of pumpkin
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Bourbon Pecan Sauce
- ½ sick unsalted butter
- 1¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup half and half
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ⅓ cup bourbon
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- In a small mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan. I used parchment paper to help press evenly and topped with a little extra sugar. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in sweetened condensed milk.
- Add bourbon, pumpkin, eggs and spices. Blend just until combined.
- Pour batter in prepared pan. Place springform pan, in a larger pan with sides. Pour hot water into outer pan until it covers the springform halfway. This will ensure even cooking.
- Bake at 300 for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until center is set.
- Cool completely. Refrigerate.
- Bourbon Sauce
- Self butter in a saucepan. Whisk in brown sugar, stir until dissolved (do not boil).
- Stir in half and half and heavy cream and remove from heat.
- Add bourbon.
- Let cool.
- Add Pecans.
- Pour over cheesecake.