December 23, 2009
pumpkin cheesecake

There was apparently a pie pumpkin shortage this year. The only place I could find pumpkins was whole foods, and they were all $8 monster pumpkins. This left me with a ridiculous amount of pumpkin after I made my pumpkin pie, so I decided to try my hand at a pumpkin cheesecake.

Pumpkin cheesecake will forever remind me of my best friend/quasi-boyfriend from high school. He was born in October and his mom made him pumpkin cheesecake for his birthday every year. I’d never heard of it, but was soon entranced by its silky, spicy wiles.

This recipe, courtesy of Joy of Baking is pretty tasty. I had a bit of a fail with the top of it cracking, but luckily it wasn’t something too bad for clone stamp to fix.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

yields one 8 inch cheesecake

Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cups finely ground ginger cookies
(I didn’t have ginger cookies, so I just seasoned 1 1/2 cups of graham crackers with ginger and cinnamon)
1 tbs granulated white sugar
4 – 5 tbs unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake:
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 pound (2 regular packages) cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
(i’d recommend homemade if you have enough time to dismantle a pumpkin, there’s really no comparison)

Preheat to 350°, moving the rack to the center if you’re the type that moves oven racks around. The recipe recommends greasing the springform pan, but I didn’t bother.

Crust: Mix all the crust ingredients together aside from the butter. Add the butter and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan to form a crust.

Filling: Mix the spices and sugar together in a separate bowl. In your mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add the sugar and spice mixture. Beat until combined, then add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly between them. Scrape down sides and add vanilla and pumpkin. Pour into the springform and pop into the oven for 30 mins. It’s recommended to place a pan with hot water into the oven to add humidity so the top doesn’t crack. After 30 mins, drop the temperature to 325° and bake for an additional 10-20, until the sides are puffy and the center jiggly.

On the joy of baking, they recommend making a sour cream topping. But honestly, who eats pumpkin confections with anything other than whipped cream? I make a special ginger whipped cream that is 2 cups whipped cream, 2 tbs sugar and 2tsp ginger. Beat until fluffy and serve on top! Ginger whipped cream is a weapon, even people who hate whipped cream love it, use it wisely.

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