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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake



Each year, rather than make the traditional pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie for the Thanksgiving sweets, I make pumpkin cheesecake (we are cheesecake fanatics in our house).  I've tried a few different recipes over the years, and so far this one is the winner (I don't recall where I got this recipe, unfortunately).  I had to alter the original recipe because I was not happy with the way it baked (had cracks, etc.) and so I ended up copying the baking instructions for another amazing cheesecake I make on occasion.  While I have been tweaking the baking times with this cheesecake, I still have not mastered it just yet.  After letting the cheesecake rest in the oven, if it still does not look like its set in the middle, turn on the oven and let it bake just a little longer - I had to do this for about 15 minutes or so and then it turned out perfectly.  Once I figure out the timing I will update my instructions, but in the meantime, its a wonderful fall cheesecake to try.  I hope you enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Serves 8-10

Crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted
Filling:
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 can (15 oz.) pureed pumpkin
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.  Preheat oven to 300˚.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon.  Add melted butter.  Press down flat into a 9-inch spring form pan.  Bake crust for 10 minutes.  Set aside.

3.  Beat sour cream in mixer, add cream cheese and beat until smooth.  Add pumpkin, eggs, sugar and spices.  Add flour and vanilla, beat together until well combined.  Pour into crust.


5.  Lower oven temperature to 250˚. Place cheesecake into a preheated water bath (boiling water), in the oven for 1 ½ hours.

6.  Turn the oven off and open the door for one minute. Close the door for another 1 ¼ hour. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place in the refrigerator for 6 hours to completely cool before serving.

7.  When ready to serve, place the entire cake pan into a hot water bath for about 15 seconds. Unmold onto a cake round or serving dish. Take the remaining graham cracker mixture and press into the sides of the cake.

8.  To slice, place your knife into a hot water bath and wipe dry each time you make a pass through the cake.

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