If you’re at all like me, there’s one reason to look forward to fall that far outstrips all the rest: the fact that zucchini season is over.
Funnily enough, all my neighbors who previously had an overabundance of zucchini never seem to have any pumpkin to spare. I’m almost certain the pumpkins are all being used for delights like this Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake Recipe. But don’t worry, canned pumpkin works beautifully.
This cheesecake is a no-bake variety, and owes its light, fluffy texture to the Yoplait greek yogurt in the base. It has a little homemade caramel, which sounds scary, but is super easy.
First things first: fully soften the cream cheese by letting it sit at room temperature for an hour. A full hour. Doing so will prevent the formation of little lumpy pellets in the final cake.
Then prepare your crust. This is simply a matter of melting the butter, mixing it with the crumbs and sugar, and then pressing the mixture into the bottom of a springform pan before setting it in the refrigerator to cool. Or, it’s simply a matter of unwrapping a store-bought graham cracker crust– the choice is yours.
Next, caramel. This is really easy and the resulting caramel is so rich and flavorful! You’ll need a small, sturdy, straight-sided saucepan, preferably with a lid. Place 1/2 cup of sugar in the pot, cover by 1/2 an inch with water, and add a teaspoon of lemon juice or corn syrup (both prevent the caramel from crystallizing). Place the pot over medium heat, and wait– eventually the sugar will melt and the water will start to boil away.
If your pot has a cover, use it for brief intervals; the steam condensing on the lid and running down the sides of the pan will also help to prevent the dreaded crystallization. Note that you want to pull the caramel off the heat a bit before it’s the color you want, because it will continue cooking with the heat of the pan. If your caramel is getting too dark, a splash of cold water from the faucet (carefully, though, the steam and splattering can be intense!) will arrest the cooking- then just put the pan back on the heat to boil off the added water. You should be left with a thin, mahogany syrup that will thicken as it cools.
After the daredevil, high-wire cookery of caramel production, the rest of the cheesecake goes together with an ease that is almost anticlimactic. Blend all the cake ingredients, spread in your cooled crust, and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Top with whipped cream, toffee sprinkles, DEVOUR (and be glad it’s not zucchini). Serve with more whip and caramel, if desired.
Hope you enjoy! (I have to admit, after making this recipe in our little test kitchen, we literally ate it for breakfast all week!)
More Pumpkin Cheesecake Love
While greek yogurt makes this recipe light and delicious, check out these other great recipes on Tablespoon’s pumpkin cheesecake collection!
Pumpkin cheesecake: Easily one of the best dessert combinations ever invented. Here are some of the tastiest versions of this seasonal favorite!
Michelle Palm created the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen blog after discovering a lack of cocktail-style jelly shot recipes. Look for her posts here, and check her Tablespoon member profile often to see what she’s already gelled up!