Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake –Oh My!

November 2010 015

Several weeks ago I posted about making some cheesecakes for a dessert auction at church.  We’ve used two of the recipes I made for many years, but the third was brand new.  When I made it I wasn’t able to eat sugar yet, so I had Russ and the kids taste test the recipe.  They loved it, so I went ahead and took them (both the cheesecakes and the family members) to the auction.

Yesterday I made the recipe again to take with me when I went to Chapel Hill today; we were going to have lunch in between visiting different Relief Society classes and I thought they would be a fun treat.

They did not disappoint.  Yum, yum, yum.  Russ and the kids were right.  This doesn’t really taste like a cheesecake, and doesn’t taste like a pumpkin pie.  It’s a delicious combination.

I found the recipe(s) on  As you will see when you look at the recipe, the cheesecake calls for Pumpkin butter (had you ever heard of such a thing??) so I’m also including the recipe for that.

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake 

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,softened 
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin butter
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust


1. Combine pecans and 1/4 cup brown sugar; cut in butter or margarine with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

2. Beat cream cheese at high speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Add 1/3 cup brown sugar; beat well. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in pumpkin butter. Pour mixture into crust.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes.

4. Sprinkle pecan mixture over pie. Bake for 5 additional minutes, or until butter or margarine and sugar melt. Cool on a wire rack. Cover, and chill for at least 4 hours.

***My Changes***
I made mini cheesecakes in cupcake liners.  Instead of a graham cracker crust I put 1 gingersnap cookie in the bottom of each cheesecake.  The Kroger gingersnaps were the perfect size and they added a nice zing to the flavor.
The first time I made the recipe I made 15-18 cheesecakes and that was too many—they weren’t full enough.  This time I made 12 and they were just right.
I baked them for 10 minutes at 350, then added the nut topping and baked for 5 more minutes.


Pumpkin Butter
 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1. Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently.

    ***The first time I made the pumpkin butter I halved the recipe so that I would have just enough for the cheesecake.  This time I made the whole batch and it looks like it will be enough for another cheesecake.  I didn’t have any apple juice so I used orange juice and it was still great.  I made mine in the microwave and just stirred it about every 3 minutes until it started to look thicker and dark—it was probably 12-15 minutes.  Now the rest is in the freezer just waiting for Wednesday!

    As hard as it may be to believe, the high point of the meal was not the dessert.  (Or the delicious sandwiches.)  We were sitting just past the parking lot in the shade enjoying the beautiful fall day.  It looked a lot like this, except that this is my street instead of the church parking lot.  But you get what I mean—fall in NC is beautiful.

    November 2010 239
    And we were sitting there eating and talking, and then there was this movement.  We looked up, and a huge hawk flew by us—not 10 feet away.  Just glided right by, and into the trees behind us.
    And then Diana said, without even missing a beat, “I was waiting for him to bring me a letter!”

    It was awesome!


    1. Add my name to the amen corner! Those pumpkin cheesecakes were (pause here trying to find a word that means more than delicious)yumscrumptialicious. I feel like I need to be on the Food Network to describe how well the textures and levels of flavors combine to make these so good. I was thinking I would donate the extra can of pumpkin puree I had to the food drive, but now I will be keeping it. (I have some Froot Loops to give. That's good, too, right?)
      Did I happen to mention I have a fear of birds? Even so, the hawk's flyby was really cool--even w/o the letter!