Monday, November 22, 2010

Pumpkin Grand Marnier Cheesecake

It's been quite some time since I posted a non-Daring Bakers recipe, but I promise it has been worth the wait.  This cheesecake goes way back in my family.  My mom found the original recipe in a magazine, I believe, but the clipping has been long since lost and the recipe typed and shared and re-typed again.

Some of my fondest memories revolve around slices of this cheesecake, and for good reason: it was the only dessert my sister and I were ever allowed to have for breakfast.  My parents entertained quite a lot, and though I usually chattered everyone's ear off until I was sent away went to bed pretty early, when fall rolled around I didn't mind as much since I knew I would wake up to a slice of leftover cheesecake!  My mom used to rationalize it by talking about all the calcium-containing cream cheese, nourishing eggs, and vitamin-filled pumpkin and orange juice in it. Somehow she forgot all about the brown sugar, cookie crumb crust, and generous splashes of liqueur in both the cake and topping...

...which take it from just a run-of-the-mill cheesecake to something really amazing.   Orange and pumpkin are a wonderful combination anyway, but three kinds of orange (juice, zest, and liqueur) combined with the smooth cream cheese and tangy sour-cream topping make this a very special fall dessert indeed.

The recipe calls for pumpkin puree (I like butternut) - the better quality your squash is, the better your final cheesecake will be.   Likewise, instead of using plain store-bought butter cookies for the crust, I made my own spiced whole-wheat graham crackers and crumbled them up instead - a marked improvement that adds a lot of flavor. Along with the booze, of course.

Pumpkin Grand Marnier Cheesecake
My Mom's Recipe

1 cup sweet biscuit crumbs (preferably homemade, I made Heidi's graham cracker recipe and had plenty of extra crumbs left over for my next cheesecake)
60 gr. butter, melted

500 gr. (1 lb 2 oz) cream cheese
¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
5 eggs
2 cups cold pumpkin puree (make your own, it's easy!)
¼ cup Grand Marnier
2 tbsp. orange zest
¼ cup freshly-squeezed and strained orange juice

300 gr. (10.5 oz) sour cream
¼ cup Grand Marnier
¼ cup powdered sugar

Combine biscuit crumbs and butter. Press over base of 23 cm. springform pan; refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180 (350) degrees. Beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in pumpkin, Grand Marnier, zest, and juice, scraping down the sides to ensure everything is mixed evenly.

Pour pumpkin mixture through a sieve over the base, pressing lightly to make sure all the liquid is drained through but discarding any chunks left in the sieve. Bake for 50 minutes or until set around the edge. Combine all topping ingredients. Quickly remove cheesecake from oven, spread with topping and continue baking for 10 more minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight. Decorate with whipped cream and cinnamon just before serving.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great flavor for a cheesecake! Very festive. It looks really perfect.



Melly said...

I've made this a couple times here and thoroughly enjoyed slices for breakfast/morning tea/lunch/afternoon tea/dessert... and snacks... Yuuuuu-uum. Joe thinks it's pretty medium but his family was very impressed when I made it for his brithday a couple years ago... Enjoy!!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

That looks amazing! And, I just happen to have some Grand Marnier... Oh darn :)

Tonya said...

OMG in heaven, I cannot tell you how badly I want to have a slice right now! I hate you for making me so hungry but love you for posting the recipe (although I absolutely know that I will never be able to recreate it as I am sure you can!).

Frenchie! said...

Anthony promised to make cheesecake for thanksgiving. I wonder if I can convince him........ :D

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

This sounds amazing! I am definitely going to make this! Thank you!

Caitie said...

We're having friends over on Sunday for dessert and coffee and I wanted to make a cheesecake. This might have to make an appearance :-) Thanks for posting the recipe.

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