To make the crust: Butter a 9-inch or 10- inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Combine gingersnap crumbs and sugar in bowl. Mix in melted butter and stir until crust holds together. Press crumbs onto the bottom of pan. Bake crust 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To make the caramel sauce: In a dry heavy saucepan, combine 1 3/4 cups sugar with corn syrup and hot water. Stir to blend and cook over medium heat until melted. Cook sugar, swirling pan, until a deep caramel.
Add warmed cream carefully, because caramel will splatter and bubble, stirring occasionally, until caramel dissolves. Let boil about 1 minute without stirring and remove from heat.
Remove a little more than 1/2 cup of the caramel for the cheesecake filling and set aside and allow to cool. Into the remaining caramel, stir butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla and cool to room temperature. To make the pralines: Place pecans in a small bowl. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Pour egg whites over pecans and toss to totally coat with egg whites.
Pour dry ingredients over pecans and stir to coat, being careful not to break the pecans. Pour onto a baking sheet and bake in the 350- degree oven until the sugar coating is dry, about 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove 12 perfect pecan halves and coarsely chop the remainder.
To make the filling: Blend together pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and 1/2 cup cooled caramel sauce.
In mixer, cream together cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth. Add cornstarch, vanilla and bourbon. Add pumpkin mixture to cream-cheese mixture and beat just until combined and smooth. Fold in chopped pralines. Pour mixture into pre-baked crust and bake 50 minutes to 55 minutes, or until cake is just set. Let cool 5 minutes.
Top with cooled caramel sauce, spreading evenly. Arrange pecan pralines decoratively on top and chill cheesecake, covered, overnight. Remove sides of pan.