What would AUTUMN be without pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread or pumpkin cheesecake? I like to add nuts to the cheese filling, just to have something to chew on while enjoy the creaminess of the cheesecake. If you prefer yours without, then leave the walnut praline out. The cheese I used for the recipe is called "Quark©angiesrecipes", a type of fresh cheese, which is made by warming soured milk until the desired degree of denatured proteins and then strained. Quark usually contains much lower fat than the cream cheeses and has no salt added.
Feel free to replace it with other type of fresh cheese, like fromage frais or cream cheese.
- For praline, line a baking sheet with foil. In a heavey skillet place the 100 grams of granulated sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, swirling the skillet occasionally until sugar begins to melt. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the chopped walnuts and cook until sugar is golden brown and walnuts are toasted. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading with a wooden spoon as thin as possible. Cool and chop the cooled praline into smaller pieces. Place 1/3 of the chopped praline in a blender container and process until ground. Store them in separate boxes in fridge until ready for use or up to 1 week.
- For crust, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until softened. Add 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Sift in the flour. Beat at slow speed just until combined. Press the dough onto the bottom and 4cm up the side of 9-inch springform pan. Bake the crust in a 190C/375F oven about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool crust on a wire rack while preparing filling.
- For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat quark cheese, 120 grams of brown sugar, and the flour with an electric mixer on a medium speed until combined. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Beat until combined. Add in eggs and beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in the coarsely chopped walnut praline pieces, reserving the powder for the topping.
- Pour the filling into the crust and return to the oven. Bake in a 190C/375F oven for 40 minutes or until center appears nearly set. In a small bowl combine sour cream and granulated sugar. Spread over top of cheesecake.
- Cool cheesecake in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Use a small metal spatula to loosen crust from sides of pan. Cool completely and chill, covered, in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle the ground praline over the sour cream topping.