As much as I love everything pumpkin, I really don’t like pumpkin pie! As an alternative this year to pumpkin pie, I decided to make a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving. Well, it was a hit, and most of it was gone by the end of the night. This cheesecake is more fluffy than dense, and the addition of the pumpkin helps it not be overly sweet. The recipe calls for a ginger snap crust, but I prefer graham crackers so I used that instead. It was definitely a hit and will most likely be making an appearance every year from now on at Thanksgiving.
Yields: 12 to 16 servings
For the Crust:
2 cups crushed ginger snap cookies (I substituted with graham crackers)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
2 cups (about a 15-oz can) canned pumpkin
4 eggs, at room temperature
2½ tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Double-wrap the bottom and outside of a 9-inch springform pan with heavy duty foil. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bring a pot of water to a boil for a water bath.
Beat together the cream cheese and the sugars on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin and mix on low until completely incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, cloves and allspice and mix on low to incorporate.
Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Place the pan into a larger pan (a roasting pan is great for this) and pour the boiling water into the larger pan until it is about halfway up the springform pan.
Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the edges are set, but the middle still jiggles a little. Keeping the oven door closed, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven, carefully remove it from the water bath, remove the foil and place the cheesecake on a wire rack to cool completely, about an additional 2 hours. Once completely cool, refrigerate for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).
Cover any leftover cheesecake with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Wrapped, the cheesecake can be frozen for up to 2 months.
*Even with the water bath, and still had a crack along the one side. Therefore, I whipped up some whipping cream with the rest of the heavy cream and piped it along the edges. Voila! No more cracks! 🙂
Source: Adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker