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Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake

November 22nd, 2010

My husband declared this the perfect dessert. (It marries his 2 favorite things: cheesecake and pumpkin pie.) I’m not a huge pumpkin person (I eat a piece of pumpkin pie once a year on Thanksgiving out of obligation) but I’ve been having daydreams about this cheesecake. Really y’all – it is that good. If you need any more convincing, I found the recipe on Pioneer Woman’s site and we all know that all things sinfully yummy/awful for you come from her site. I rarely try any of her fabulous recipes because I don’t work on a ranch therefore can’t even pretend I burn enough calories to use the amount of butter and cream she is famous for.

Sorry for the rather crappy photo.

I bought a cheap spring form pan a few months ago after thinking about it for years. I kept thinking I wanted to try making cheesecake but I didn’t have the pan and it seemed so intimidating. I finally made my first cheesecake (plain to start) a couple of months ago. I don’t want or need to have a whole cheesecake around the house so I have to wait until I have an event to take it to and something finally came along. It was okay but nothing to make your eyes roll back in your head.

I started seeing pumpkin recipes popping up last month and had a vague memory of a yummy pumpkin cheesecake my ex-sister-in-law made years ago for Thanksgiving. So I went on a recipe hunt. And once I saw the one PW featured (it wasn’t her recipe but one given to her to try), I stopped the search. Here is the link to her photos and step by step commentary. Here is the link to the recipe. I changed just a couple of tiny things but it was out of necessity (lacked ingredients for the crust) and personal taste (I like my pumpkin things a little spicier). I didn’t change the core recipe because she is PW – she just beat Bobby Flay in a Thanksgiving Throwndown on Food Network! Who am I to change her recipes? (Can you imagine being her future daughter in law? You would ever be able to have her over for Thanksgiving at your house. Dude, she beat Bobby Flay!)

Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake

Sorry, I have no idea how to provide a printable recipe – I’m not really a food blogger…just a blogger who likes food

For a graham cracker crust (she used a yummy looking gingersnap crust):

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I actually bought a box of crumbs so no idea how many crackers that is)

1 stick of butter (this ain’t health food), melted

1/3 c sugar

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Lightly spray your 9 inch spring form pan with non stick cooking spray. Mix the above and press it LIGHTLY into the bottom of your spring form pan. If you pack it in too tightly, it becomes difficult to cut and serve. The cheesecake will compact it down sufficiently. No pre-cooking of this crust is necessary. If you are using PW’s gingersnap crust she directs a pre-bake so follow those directions.

For the cake (I doubled the spices so see the link above for PW’s way):

Let all items come to room temperature before beginning – including your eggs

3 8oz bricks of cream cheese (full fat…sorry, no making this healthier…it is cheesecake after all)

1 15 oz can pureed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling…plain pumpkin)

3 large eggs

plus 1 egg yolk

1/4 c sour cream

1 1/2 c sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbl all purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350*.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the pumpkin until incorporated. Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, scraping the sides of your bowl between each egg. Beat in the sour cream. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined.

You need a water bath which sounds intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. Use your turkey roasting pan. Most recipes will have you wrap your spring form pan tightly with foil so that you can put it in the water bath. I mentioned I bought a cheap spring form pan…I was nervous about trusting it to be water tight even with the assistance of foil. I read a brilliant idea on another cooking blog. I’m sorry I can’t recall where I read it so I can’t give credit. Instead of foil, buy the big turkey roasting bags (they are meant to be water tight and stand up to the heat of the oven). Use that to keep the water away from your precious cheesecake.

Scrape the filling into the spring form pan onto the crust. Using very hot (or softly boiling) water, fill your roasting pan with hot water until the level comes halfway up the side of your cheesecake. Carefully put it into the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes give or take 10 minutes (a light jiggle in the center is perfect when you take it out…but not a jello-y jiggle.) Run a knife around the side of the pan to loosen the cake sides to prevent cracking as it cools and pulls away from the pan.

For whatever reason, my cake cracked in the oven rather than during cooling. Wasn’t pretty but it was darn yummy!

You must have patience and put the cheesecake (still in the spring form pan…but not in the water bath) in the frig for 8 hours. I know, I know, it seems cruel. Kind of like buying a gun in non-red states, there is a waiting period so that your hips can decide if they really want that cheesecake. It is worth the wait. And you could always have cheesecake for breakfast if you make it the night before (not that I would know anything about that).

This entry was posted on Monday, November 22nd, 2010 at 9:22 am and is filed under food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake”

  1. Shannon Says:

    yummmm cheesecake for breakfast. If we got waffles covered in syrup and whip cream breakfast food, than cheesecake certainly should count as well. PLUS it has pumpkin in it, so it’s like getting extra veggies. 🙂

  2. Vanessa Says:

    OMG – what perfect timing! Was in the middle of a crisis at not being able to find evaporated milk to make pumpkin pie! I think this is my ticket. Yum – thank you!

  3. Jen Says:

    Just FYI, cheesecake freezes well. I bake them, cut them, and freeze the slices individually. Then, after the kids go to bed, I have a treat. Have a great Thanksgiving.

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