Monday, December 2, 2013

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Happy Monday after Thanksgiving! Mondays are already hard, so this one is definitely providing some additional challenges after four days off. I'm still dreaming of pajamas and leftovers, especially this pumpkin cheesecake. It was the first cheesecake I've ever made and I was a little intimidated before I got started, but it turned out to be fairly easy! It's a time consuming recipe, but the end result is so delicious and perfect for fall. Creamy and fluffy with a hint of spice, this might become a Thanksgiving staple. Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Recipe, adapted from Betty Crocker:
(Makes 12+ servings)

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (recipe called for 1 3/4 cups for a 9-inch springform pan)
1/2 butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 cup flour (I used almond flour)
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 8-ounce packages light cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs

1/2 pint whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons granulated sugar 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 or 10 inch springform pan (I used a 10-inch pan so I added an extra 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs). Mix together graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar. Press into bottom of pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. When done baking, let cool for 5 minutes and then continue cooling in refrigerator until it has returned to room temperature.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix pumpkin, flour, and spices. In a large bowl, whip cream cheese until smooth. Slowly beat in sugar, and then beat in eggs, one at a time. Add in pumpkin mixture and lightly mix until fully combined. Don't overbeat the mixture.
When the crust is cool enough, pour cheesecake on top. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until sides are set and middle jiggles slightly. Turn off oven, open oven door at least 4 inches, and continue baking for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire rack for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Whip cream with spices, vanilla, and sugar. Run knife around cheesecake and carefully remove the side of the springform pan. Spread whipped cream over a completely cooled cheesecake.


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