12 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups gingersnap cookies, finely crumbled
2 3/4 cups sugar
32 ounces cream cheese (not the low-fat version)
1/4 cup sour cream
6 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
15 ounces pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Bourbon whipped cream:
1 jigger bourbon
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Note: this recipe requires refrigeration.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Brush the bottom and sides of a 10" springform pan with a bit of the melted butter. Mix crushed gingersnap cookies with remaining melted butter and 1/4 cup sugar. Press into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, wrap the outside of the springform pan with foil and place in a roasting pan.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar and beat until just light. Beat in the sour cream, then add the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, one teaspoon salt, and the spices, and beat until just combined. Pour into the cooled crust.
Gently place the roasting pan in the oven (do not pull the rack out when placing the roasting pan) and pour the boiling water into the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake until the outside of the cheesecake sets but the center is still loose, about one hour and 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and open the door briefly to let out some heat. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for one more hour, then carefully remove from the roasting pan and cool on a rack. Run a knife around the edges, cover, and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
While the cheesecake cools, make the whipped cream. Beat two cups of whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold in bourbon until incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Gently remove cheesecake and bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Unlock and remove springform ring. Serve with a dollop of bourbon whipped cream.