For the crust: preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Wrap a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil. Spray the bottom and sides of the pan with
Nonstick Cooking Spray (as needed)
Ginger Snap Cookies (2 cups)
Granulated Sugar (1/4 cup)
in a food processor until finely ground.
Unsalted Butter (1/4 cup)
and pulse to combine.
Dump the moistened crumbs into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.
Bake the crust for about 15 minutes, until fragrant and set. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
For the filling, bring about 4 quarts of water to a simmer in a tea kettle. In a small saucepan, stir together the
Canned Pumpkin Purée (1 can)
Granulated Sugar (1 1/3 cups)
Ground Cinnamon (1 tsp)
Ground Ginger (1/2 tsp)
Ground Nutmeg (1/4 tsp)
Ground Cloves (1/4 tsp)
Salt (1/2 tsp)
Bring the mixture to a sputter over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, continuing to stir, until it becomes thick, bronzed and shiny.
Scrap the mixture into a large food processor and process for 1 minute with the feed tube open.
While still processing, add the
Heavy Cream (1 cup)
. Add the
Cream Cheese (3 cups)
and process for about 30 seconds, scraping the sides if necessary.
and process for another 5 minutes.
Set the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour the batter into the cooled crust, then pour enough boiling water into the large roasting pan to come about halfway up the side of the cake pan. Bake until the cake is just set, about 1 1/2 hours. If it jiggles, continue baking.
Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and set on a wire rack. Use a paring knife to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Cool until the water is just warm, about 45 minutes.
Remove the springform pan from the water bath, discard the foil and set cake on a wire rack. Continue to cool at room temperature until barely warm, for about 3 hours.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, for at least 4 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce.
Granulated Sugar (1 cup)
Light Corn Syrup (2 Tbsp)
Water (2 Tbsp)
, and the juice from
together in a 2-cup microwave-safe measuring cup or glass bowl. Heat in a microwave oven until the caramel is pale yellow for about 4-8 minutes.
Let the caramel sit for about 5 minutes and it will gradually turn a rich amber color. In the meantime, heat the
Heavy Cream (1/2 cup)
in a microwave oven until hot.
Add the heavy cream to the caramel, one tablespoon at a time. After all the cream has been added, stir to incorporate them. Then, add the
Unsalted Butter (1 Tbsp)
the mixture seems too thick, add more cream. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To serve, remove the springform pan and slide the cheesecake onto a serving platter (or you can keep it on the pan bottom). Let the cheesecake stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Then, cut the cheesecake into wedges. Warm up the caramel sauce in the microwave. Drizzle the caramel sauce over each piece of cheesecake and top with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream if desired.