Hazelnut & Pumpkin Cheesecake

We have a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition we celebrate each year. We have a model of the Mayflower boat that one of my parent’s grandchildren made. Each year everyone writes a little note about what we are thankful for and read them aloud after dinner. Then we write a new one and put them in the boat for next year. It is very meaningful and interesting to hear what all of the grandchildren, children and grandparents are thankful for each year.

We also do the Turkey trot each Thanksgiving morning together. Those that want to eat extra portions get up and go downtown to walk or run the 4 or 7 miles, depending on their health. We have a lot of laughs and it is a great bonding experience since we all come in from out of town for this special weekend.

To top off the day we indulge in my mothers famous pumpkin cheesecake, a family favorite… Enjoy!

Hazelnuts & Graham Cracker Crust

3/4 cup toasted ground hazelnuts (rub off skins)
3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbl sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Pumpkin Filling

16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 16oz can unsweetened solid pack pumpkin
5 eggs
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Sour Cream Topping

16 oz sour cream
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of Frangelico
3/4 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts (rub off skins)

For Crust:
Mix ground hazelnuts, graham cracker crumbs and sugar in bowl, slowly add butter. Press mixture into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Freeze for 15 minutes. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead.)

For Filling:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Blend all ingredients in processor until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides of work bowl. Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Bake until edges of cake begin to pull away from sides of pan and cake begins to brown, about 45 minutes; center will not be firm.

For Topping:
Whisk together sour cream, sugar and Frangelico. Without removing cake from oven, pour topping evenly over hot cake starting at the edges. Spread evenly, continue baking cake until edges begin to bubble, about 10 minutes. Cool on rack. Refrigerate at least 12 hours. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead.)
Sprinkle 3/4 cup of toasted hazelnuts on top of finished cake.

Lori Farris, http://www.arcodoro.com

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