Pumpkin-Maple Swirl Cheesecake With Candied Hazelnuts

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Move over, pie. This pumpkin cheesecake from Holiday Cooking is making waves. With candied hazelnuts and a maple swirl, it's definitely our new favorite way to pumpkin.

Pumpkin-Maple Swirl Cheesecake With Candied Hazelnuts

Yield: Makes one 9-inch cheesecake

Ingredients:

For the crust

  • ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs (from 6 graham crackers)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

For the filing

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons ground allspice
  • Three 8-ounce pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • One 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
  • ¼ cup maple syrup, divided

For the candied hazelnuts

  • 1 cup hazelnuts, skins removed, roughly chopped
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Prepare the crust

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, flour, hazelnuts, and light brown sugar in a food processor. Process until finely ground, then add butter and process until well combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake until firm, 10-12 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the filling. Lower the oven temperature to 325 F.

2. Prepare the filling

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, and allspice and set aside.

Starting with a paddle attachment in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and well-combined. Switch to a whisk attachment and whip until the mixture is light and creamy, 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and beat until just incorporated. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients.

Remove ½ cup of cheesecake filling to a small bowl, stir in 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and set aside. Add remaining maple syrup and pumpkin purée to remaining filling in mixing bowl and whisk until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides as necessary.

3. Assemble the cheesecake

Wrap the outside of the pan tightly with a double layer of foil so that it is completely sealed. Place the pan inside a large roasting tray. Pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling into the crust.

Carefully drop reserved maple cheesecake filling over the top in 8 generous tablespoon-sized dollops, spacing them somewhat evenly apart. Using a skewer, carefully drag the maple filling dollops into and through the pumpkin filling, giving it a marbled effect.

4. Bake

Transfer the roasting tray to the oven. Carefully fill the roasting tray with hot water so that it comes halfway up the side of the pan, taking care not to splash water into the cheesecake. Bake until the edges are firm and the center is still slightly wobbly when gently shaken, about 60-75 minutes.

5. Make the candied hazelnuts

While the cheesecake bakes, make candied hazelnuts: Place the roughly chopped hazelnuts in a large sauté pan and set over high heat. Toss until the pieces are starting to brown and the nuts become fragrant, about 4 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt.

Add the maple syrup and toss until the syrup has reduced slightly and the hazelnut pieces are glazed and shiny, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and spread the nuts on a piece of parchment paper to cool. (Be careful handling as the hot syrup will be very hot!)

6. Final touches

When the cheesecake is done, carefully remove the roasting tray from the oven. Allow cheesecake to begin cooling in water bath, about 10 minutes (this helps prevent the top from cracking), then remove the springform pan from the roasting tray.

Allow the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes, and preferably until completely room temperature, before placing in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

To remove from the pan, run a knife around the edge and carefully unclasp the springform ring. Finish the cheesecake by scattering the candied hazelnuts over the top.

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Pumpkin-Maple Swirl Cheesecake With Candied Hazelnuts