Happy National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day!

What better way to celebrate this wonderful day than with our delicious Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake! Enjoy!

Photo: Jennifer DavickPhoto: Jennifer Davick

Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
5 Tbsp. butter, melted
3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Praline Topping
Garnishes: coarsely chopped Pecan Pie Glazed Pecans, fresh sage leaves

Praline Topping
Bring 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/3 cup whipping cream, and 1/4 cup butter to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Boil, stirring occasionally, 1 minute; remove from heat. Gradually whisk in 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla extract until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Use immediately.

Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Beat cream cheese and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, beating until blended. Pour batter into prepared crust. (Pan will be very full.)

Bake at 325° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

Remove sides and bottom of pan, and transfer cheesecake to a serving plate. Prepare Praline Topping; immediately pour slowly over top of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/4-inch of edge. Garnish, if desired.

See 10 More Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Recipes!

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