A great cheesecake with a hint of pumpkin. Cooling in the oven prevents the top from cracking. However, if it does crack, spread whipped cream over the whole top instead of piping rosettes.
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup ground pecans or other nuts
2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup puréed cooked pumpkin, fresh or canned
1 cup sour cream
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp sugar
Line base and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and brush sides with 2 tbsp melted butter.
Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, pecans and remaining melted butter. Mix together and pat into bottom and sides of prepared pan. Chill crust in refrigerator while preparing filling.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl or a food processor, cream butter and cream cheese together. Scrape down sides, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape sides again and beat in pumpkin.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream, flour, vanilla, lemon zest, and juice.
Pour filling into chilled base. Bake cake in centre of oven for 1 hour. Leave oven door ajar, turn off heat, and let cake sit in oven for 1 hour. Chill and remove from pan.
Whip cream until soft peaks form then beat in sugar. Pipe or dollop 10 rosettes of whipped cream around the top edge of the cheesecake. Top each rosette with a candied pecan. Place remaining pecans around the top of the cake, if desired.