Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake
It's my favorite time of year where everything is made with pumpkin and Hocus Pocus is on repeat every day. So when I was asked to create a fall inspired recipe for Steep Echo's Ascent Tea I was absolutely thrilled because it combines my two favorite things; tea and fall. I obviously couldn't resist making something decadent and pumpkin flavored. Being British, it just goes with the territory that I am officially a tea expert and this one is so fragrant and cozy, with notes of cinnamon and vanilla, I fell in love. So I knew it would go really well with my Pumpkin Cheesecake with a cinnamon graham cracker crust and homemade Salted Caramel which I infused with the tea bags and it all blended so beautifully together. This would be the perfect desert for your small covid friendly family Thanksgiving celebration. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much I did. Not just eating it, but making it too.
For the filling -
4 (8oz) Blocks of cream cheese
1 Can pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/4 Maple syrup
4 Steep Echo Ascent tea bags
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Tbsp All purpose flour
2 Tsp Pumpkin pie spice
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Kosher salt
For the crust -
14 Cinnamon Graham Crackers
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Stick Butter
For the tea infused salted caramel -
4 Steep Echo Ascent tea bags
1 Stick salted butter
1 Cup granulated sugar
2/3 Cup heavy cream
2 Tsp Salt
1. Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees
2. In a small pot over the stove, add in your maple syrup and tea bags and heat over a medium low heat until warmed.
3. Remove it from the heat after about 5 minutes and leave the tea bags in until the tea has steeped in the syrup for at least 20 minutes to infuse it. Let it cool completely before using it to bake. (You can also put the tea bags and maple syrup in a mug in the microwave for 1 minute, which is what I did today because all my pots were in use. Then let it steep for 20 minutes.)
4. Next, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk, beat the room temperature cream cheese until smooth. It's very important the cream cheese it totally room temperature or the cheesecake filling will be lumpy.
5. Add in the pumpkin puree, tea infused maple syrup, the eggs, sugars, sour cream, vanilla, flour and spices and beat until combined and there are no clumps.
6. Make the crust by blending the graham crackers in your food processor until the crumbs are fine.
7. Melt your stick of butter in the microwave and add it in to the crushed graham crackers along with your sugar.
8. Tightly press in to an 8" greased spring form pan that has been double wrapped on the outside in tin foil and then place it in to a large baking dish.
9. Fill about 1/3 of the way up the pan with water from your kettle. Cheesecake is an egg heavy recipe, if you don't cook the cheesecake in a water bath it will dry out and crack. This method helps the cheesecake cook with steam in the oven that will cook the cheesecake all the way through and keep it moist.
10. There's no need to bake the crust first like you usually would for a pie, just pour the filling right on top and place it in to your oven for 1 hour 20 minutes until it is set but the middle still jiggles slightly.
11. Once it's ready, turn the oven off and open the oven door a little and let it cool in there completely to room temperature.
12. Then pop it in to the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
13. Now it's time to make the salted caramel infused with the tea. In a measuring jug or mug, heat the heavy cream with the tea bags in it in the microwave for about 1 minute and leave to sit for about 10-15 minutes minutes to infuse.
14. In the meantime while it's cooling, heat the sugar in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over a medium heat, stirring constantly. I like to use a wooden spoon as it can stand high temperatures. The sugar will start to form clumps and then eventually melt. Be careful to stir constantly not to let it burn.
15. Add in your butter and melt it together, whisking vigorously.
16. Now it's time to slowly drizzle in your heavy cream whilst being careful not to splash. The mixture will bubble up as it boils. Leave it for about a minute to boil and then turn off the heat.
17. Add in the tea bags again at this point to really infuse it with the caramel even more.
18. Sprinkle in your salt and stir.
19. Leave it to cool and before you pour the caramel over the cheesecake, remove the tea bags.