Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin cheesecake: what could be better?

Cheesecake is my number one all-time favorite dessert.  (But no cheesecake compares to my mom's.)  Pumpkin pie is quite possibly my second favorite if you don't count ice cream.  So, what could be better than pumpkin cheesecake?  That's what I thought to myself when I stumbled upon this recipe in Parents or Parenting magazine or whatever it's called, which we get for free for some reason.  And let me tell you, after much anticipation, this cakepie did not disappoint.

I'll admit, I had never before baked a cheesecake nor a pumpkin pie, but with the help of Grandma Kay's mixer and spice stash, it really wasn't hard.  If you don't try this amazing treat this fall, you will totally be missing out.

Cooking spray
8 graham crackers, crumbled (I used my mom's method of putting them in a ziploc bag and smashing them.  actually now that I think about it I believe she used a rolling pin)
5 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup of sugar (I used natural raw sugar to make it super healthy)

24 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar (again, I went raw so that I could eat more and feed it to my baby with less guilt)
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
5 large eggs
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar.  Pat the mixture on the bottom and partway up the sides of the pan.  Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven and let cool.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
  4. Mix all of the filling ingredients by hand or with an electric mixer.
  5. Pour the filling into the cooled crust.
  6. Place the cake in the center of the oven and bake 1 hour (the cake will still shimmy, but will set later)  Turn off the oven and let the cake sit undisturbed inside for another hour.  Cool, then refrigerate at least overnight (this is the hardest part of the whole recipe).
  7. Garnish with candied nuts, chopped dried cranberries, or whipped cream just before serving.


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