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Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

Serves 10-12     adjust servings

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake: two layers of cheesecake, one vanilla and one spiced pumpkin, in a buttery crust. Top with caramel, whipped cream, and more graham crackers crumbs! The perfect Thanksgiving dessert.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (9 whole sheets)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter

For the crumble

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (6 whole sheets)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

For the cheesecake

  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

For the caramel sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk, added slowly

To garnish

  • whipped cream

Instructions

For the Crust and Crumble:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add 9 whole graham crackers sheets to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it turns to fine crumbs. Or put them in a ziplock bag and pound out all your feelings with a rolling pin.
  2. Add 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Melt 5 tablespoons butter in a small bowl and add to the mixture. Pulse to combine, or stir.
  3. Use a glass or a measuring cup to press the graham cracker crumbs into a 9 inch springform pan. Press it 2 inches up the sides. Place it on a large baking sheet.
  4. Make the crumble: crush 6 whole graham cracker sheets to make about 1 cup of crumbs. Add 3 tablespoons sugar and stir in 2 tablespoons melted butter. Use your hand to squeeze the crumbs into a few rough crumbly chunks (it doesn't have to be perfect), and place on the baking sheet beside the springform pan.
  5. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. (I put mine in the freezer to speed this up, only took 10 minutes.) Place the crumbles in a bowl, cover, and set aside.

For the Cheesecake:

  1. Lower the oven temperature to 325. Bring a large pot of water to bowl. Place a 9x13 inch pan on the lowest rack in your oven.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat softened cream cheese for 4 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom.
  3. Add 1 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  4. Fold in sour cream.
  5. Blend in eggs one at a time. Make sure they are well incorporated, and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  6. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into the bottom of your crust; set aside.
  7. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger to the remaining batter and beat until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
  8. When your pot of water is boiling, pour it into the 9x13 inch pan on the lower rack in your oven. This will create a lot of moisture in the oven, and help keep your cheesecake from cracking.
  9. Place the cheesecake on a baking sheet on a rack set in the middle of the oven.
  10. Bake at 325 for about 45 minutes, or until center is almost set. The center of the cheesecake should still wobble a bit when you shake the pan. The edges should be set.
  11. Do not take the cheesecake out of the oven. Turn off the oven and open the door all the way for a minute or so, to lower the temperature in the oven, then leave the door open halfway. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature in the cracked oven for about 2 hours. If you take it out earlier than than, don't put it in the fridge right away, let it sit on the counter for a bit. When a baked cheesecake changes temperature rapidly, it cracks. Go slow.
  12. When the cheesecake is no longer warm, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 3 hours at least, or overnight.

For the Caramel Sauce:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  2. Boil without stirring 4 minutes over medium heat. Set a timer.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.
  4. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter.
  5. Slowly stir in 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Let the caramel sit at room temperature, and stir occasionally. Add in more milk if it seems like it's too thick. You want it to get to a good drizzling consistency to serve with your cheesecake. You can reheat it over low heat if it gets too hard.
  6. Serve cheesecake drizzled with caramel sauce and sprinkled with graham cracker crumbles. Whipped cream would be a fabulous idea too!

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