Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake for a real post, although Mrs. Smith's is still the best pumpkin pie in my opinion. I tried this recipe for a Thanksgiving potluck in law school and made it again last week for a co-worker's birthday. I keep getting good reviews, so I guess that means it's a keeper. Try it and judge for yourself. :)

Pumpkin Cheesecake

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 14 ounce can pumpkin pulp
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Graham cracker crust

1. Prepare graham cracker crust according to box directions (graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar). I added a little bit of cinnamon to the crust or you could try using crushed cinnamon graham crackers. Press the crust mixture into the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Preheat oven to 375.
3. In a mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar, cornstarch and vanilla. Mix well.
4. Add eggs and yolks all at once, beating on low speed until just combined.
5. Fold in cream, pumpkin pulp, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
6. Pour filling into the crust lined pan. Place on a shallow baking pan in oven. I also put a pan of water on the bottom shelf (just because people say to do that, but mine cracked anyways)
7. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the center appears nearly set when shaken.
8. Cool until room temperature, and then refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving (I like to give it overnight).
9. Drizzle with caramel sauce to serve (or any toppings you like)

Cutting tip: use plain dental floss or non-colored thread - makes really clean cuts!!

Post baking thoughts:
Mine came out with a HUGE crack in it (which gradually appeared as it cooled). Some suggestions given to me were: (1) bake it on a lower temperature, (2) bake it in a water bath, not just a pan in the bottom of oven, and (3) leave in oven for 1 hour without opening door after cooking (see my regular cheese cake directions). Hopefully yours will turn out prettier than mine!

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