Hi everyone! Happy Thanksgiving!
Oh yeah, remember me? I know I fell of the face of the blogosphere like 4 months ago. Sorry! But I’m back… and I come bearing gifts.
Like this delicious light and creamy pumpkin cheesecake.
Update: Mr. Chef is working a new department & swing shift schedule which causes me to have my hands full with the munchkins. The oldest started first grade (with an insane amount of homework!) and the youngest, well, she decided that now would be a good time to kick into gear the whole “terrible twos” thing that I thought I somehow skirted (yeah right!).
Add to that Sweetologie is starting to really take off and that makes me one extremely busy (and extremely exhausted!) mom.
However, I never forgot about all of you through all that! I missed you all and I really missed sharing recipes with you.
So I promise to start writing and posting recipes again as I have so many things I’ve been wanting to share with you! (My camera has memory cards loaded with pictures of things I’ve been baking!)
But I digress, back to the pumpkin cheesecake.
In honor of Thanksgiving and my cousin’s birthday that falls on thanksgiving this year (who absolutely loves my original cheesecake!), I’ve taken my trusty cheesecake recipe and turned it into a pumpkin cheesecake (at the birthday girl’s request). And it’s just as delicious as the original, just a bit more festive!
I’ve never been a pumpkin pie person unless it was suffocated in whipped cream. Actually, I’m not really a pie person at all. You probably won’t even see a pie recipe on this blog because, frankly, I’m not very good at it.
But cheesecake… now that’s something I can eat any day of the week and never get tired of it. Anyone else with me on that? And of course it has to be served with a side of not just any ol’ whipped cream… but cinnamon whipped cream!
It’s surprisingly light, yet creamy and bursting with pumpkin flavor. Not too rich, not too sweet, a perfect end to any meal.
Actually, as I’m typing this, I’m taking the final bites of this pumpkin cheesecake, debating if I should eat another slice….
Now onto the recipe! Enjoy!
- For the crust:
- 1⅔ cups graham cracker crumbs (about 1½ packages graham crackers, pulsed in food processor or blender until you get fine crumbs)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
For the filling:
- 1½ lbs cream cheese (3 - 8oz bars) at room temperature
- 1½ cup sugar
- 15oz can of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons room temperature butter (to grease pan)
Specialty items needed:
- 9" springform pan (at least 2¾" tall)
- 18" wide foil (preferably heavy duty)
- High sided pan that can hold your springform pan (like a turkey roasting pan for example)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Prepare the pan:
*this is important because it will prevent water from entering your springform pan while baking and making your crust soggy.
- Using 18" wide foil, tear off 2 roughly square pieces (3 pieces if foil is not heavy duty)
- Place your springform pan in the center of one piece of foil and gently fold the foil around the sides of the pan.
- Repeat with remaining foil and then crinkle any pieces extending past the top of the pan down to be level with the top edge of the pan.
- Grease the pan with the 2 tablespoons room temperature butter around the bottom and sides.
Prepare the crust:
- In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and sugar until evenly mixed.
- Add the melted butter and mix into crumb mixture until evenly moistened.
- Press mixture evenly onto bottom of pan (not up the sides). I like to use the bottom of a dry measuring cup to firmly pack it.
- Place on high sided roasting pan (to prevent tears in foil) and bake in center of oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Turn oven down to 325 degrees.
Prepare the filling:
- Place cream cheese in mixer bowl and, mix on medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the sugar and mix 3 minutes longer.
- Scrape down bowl, add pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Mix 1 minute.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Scrape down bowl again and mix 30 seconds.
- Add heavy cream and mix 1 minute until fully incorporated.
- Pour into springform pan over cooled crust.
Bake the cheesecake:
- Place springform pan inside high sided roasting pan. Place on oven rack so it sits in the center of the oven.
- Pour hot water into the roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the side of the springform pan, taking care not to burn yourself or splash water into your cheesecake filling.
Tip: pull rack out halfway, place pan on rack and fill with water, then carefully push rack back into oven.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 35 minutes or until edges are set and center is still jiggly.
- After baking, turn oven off, open oven door a crack and leave cheesecake inside the oven to cool gradually for 1 hour.
- Remove from oven and water bath and allow to cool to room temperature on counter.
- Once cooled, chill at least 5 hours in refrigerator before removing from pan.
To remove from pan, take a butter knife and run it around the edge of the pan before releasing the sides. Carefully remove the sides and place on platter for serving.
Best sliced with a warm knife (dip in hot water and dry with towel between slices).