Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake

I am not sure where she found it, but my sister Susie brought this dessert to a Knoth Family Thanksgiving several years ago.  I like pumpkin pie, but I LOVE Susie’s Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake.  Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin Cheese Filling

2          3 oz                 Cream Cheese, room temp
3/4       Cup                 Golden Brown Sugar, packed
1          tsp                   Cinnamon, ground
1/4       tsp                   Ginger, ground
1/2       tsp                   Nutmeg, ground
1/4       tsp                   Salt
2          large                Eggs, room temp
1          Cup                 Canned Pumpkin
1          Cup                 Sour Cream
1-1/2    tsp                   Vanilla

Praline Topping

1-1/2    Cups                Pecans, chopped
3/4       Cup                 Golden Brown Sugar
1/4       Cup                 Butter, melted

Make Pie Crust dough (recipe below, or you can use store-bought crust per directions).  Preheat oven to 475 F and put a rack in lower third of oven.

Roll out refrigerated crust dough with a cold roller to a 13 inch circle (1/4 in thick), fork dough, cover with foil, and fill to top with beans.  Bake 15 minutes.  Remove foil and beans, and bake 6-8 minutes more till done.

Crust can be made well ahead, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated.

Turn oven to 375 F.  Mix first 6 pie filling ingredients, beat at med speed till creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Then add pumpkin, sour cream, and vanilla; beat until incorporated.

Pour pumpkin cheese filling into room temperature crust, make a ring of foil that will cover only the crust at the rim of the pie dish; bake at 375 F , 45-50 minutes or until a knife tip inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool to room temp (can do this the night before or in the morning), cover with foil and refrigerate.

Up to 4 hrs. before service, add Praline Topping ingredients and spread on cheesecake surface.  Broil pie with topping 2-4 minutes until bubbly (WATCH VERY VERY CAREFULLY, as a perfectly done praline topping can go to burnt in 30 seconds!).

Serve pie slices with whipped cream on top.

Short Crust Pastry  (Makes two pie crusts)

2          Cups               Unbleached All Purpose Bleached Flour
3/8       tsp                   Salt
1/8       tsp                   Bakers Sugar (Ultra fine)
11        Tbsp                Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2” cubes and frozen
3          Tbsp                Vegetable shortening, Frozen
3          Tbsp                Ice Water

Mix flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor.  Scatter chilled butter pieces over flour mixture, tossing to coat butter with a little flour.  Cut butter into flour with 5 one second pulses.  Add shortening and continue pulsing until flour is pale yellow and resembles course cornmeal, with butter bits no larger than small peas (about 4 more one second pulses).  Turn mixture into a medium bowl.  Sprinkle ice water over the mixture.  With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix.  Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to one more tablespoon of ice water if necessary.

Remove dough and place on a floured work surface; with floured hands, work dough only enough to form a ball.  Divide in half, roll each half into a ball, and then flatten each ball into a 4 or 5 inch wide disk.  Wrap each in saran wrap; rest in fridge for a few hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Roll out pastry on lightly floured board to 1/8 thick.  Put in pie dish and fork it.  Line with parchment paper, then weight with dry beans or pie chain, and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees F for eight minutes, remove from oven and remove waxed paper and pie weights.