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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake


I saw this recipe at Joy of Baking.com when I was looking for a good shortbread recipe. I wasn't looking for cheesecake that day, but it looked so good that I printed the recipe and decided to try it for myself. If you want to get the recipe from the original site, along with some tips for cheesecake success, or find some more goodies to make, the recipe is HERE. Or if you just want to know how to do it, keep on reading:

I have to admit, this wasn't my favorite cheesecake that I have made. I think that title belongs to the cranberry swirl cheesecake that I made just after Christmas. (Don't worry, I will post the recipe the next time I make it...or if you desperately want it now, let me know and I can e-mail it to you.) Anyway...back to the pumpkin cheesecake. I liked it, it just isn't my favorite and I'm not sure how often I will actually make it...but I did want to make sure that I can find the recipe again. That's why I'm posting it here. The crust is made with graham cracker (I used cinnamon graham crackers) and ginger snap crumbs and I REALLY like that combination. The cheesecake is good, but tastes a little more like pumpkin pie than cheesecake. So if you like pumpkin pie, go ahead and try this, if you don't...you will not like the cheesecake.

Crust: 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely ground ginger cookies
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
4-5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
(I like the crust on my cheesecake to come up the sides, so I doubled the graham cracker and ginger cookie crumbs. I left the sugar the same, but did have to add a little more butter to get the crust moist enough.)
Butter (or spray with a nonstick spray) the bottom and sides of an 8 inch springform pan. (I forgot to do this, and it still came out of the pan just fine, I guess there was enough butter in the crust to keep it from sticking?) Combine the crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a medium sized bowl. Press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the cheesecake filling.

Filling:
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine)

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the sugar, salt and spices in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until creamy and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Pour the filling over the crust and place the springform pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake for 30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 325 and continue to bake another 10-20 minutes, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center is still wet and jiggles when gently shaken. (This was more like 25-30 additional minutes for me.)

While cheesecake is baking, prepare topping.
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Whisk all ingredients together. Pour over the top of the baked cheesecake. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake about 10 minutes to set the topping. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Loosen the cake by running a knife around the inside edge to help prevent the cake from cracking. Place a piece of foil over the top of the pan so that the cheesecake will cool slowly. When completely cooled, cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferable overnight before serving.

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