Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Hubby had a craving for cheesecake. Well, it wasn't so much a craving... he could eat cheesecake day and night. Did I mention while Kaylee and I were vacationing, he devoured an entire 16-slice multi-flavor tray himself? Needless to say, the man likes cheesecake. Hubby was once again eyeing those trays in the grocery store. I offered to bake one for him instead. He really enjoyed the pumpkin cheesecake I made a while ago, so I decided to go with pumpkin again.

This cheesecake is based on one from Allrecipes.com, combined with a recipe reviewer's suggestion of incorporating milk and flour to add more structure; in addition to using Paula Deen's graham cracker crust, along with my personal preferences of crushing the graham crackers (thank you, Alton Brown), pre-baking the crust, and to prevent cracking by lowering the oven temperature, and the addition of a baking pan of water (thank you, Rachelle @ "Mummy, I'm Hungry).

BTW, I caution anyone following Paula Deen's recipe directions, in which she allows the hot cheesecake to cool 15 minutes, before putting in the refrigerator. That is dangerous! You risk spoiling everything in your fridge by putting such a hot item in there and increasing the surrounding temperature. Wait until the cheesecake is at room temperature before covering and refrigerating.

This recipe will make one 9" cheesecake. We really like this one. It's not too sweet, has a medium density, and has a light pumpkin flavor.
For the filling:
2 eight-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice mix
2 eggs, room temperature
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp salt

For the crust:
2 cups cinnamon graham crackers
3 tbsp light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Place a metal baking pan on the lower rack of the oven. Fill halfway with cold water. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Prepare the crust by sealing the graham crackers in a gallon zip top bag. Crush the crackers by hand, or by using a mallet. Continue to break up the pieces until achieving your preferred texture. Pour the cracker crumbs in a large bowl. Combine with brown sugar. Pour in the melted butter, and combine. Empty this mixture into a 9" spring form pan, pressing down evenly and flat, using the bottom a clean drinking glass. Bake crust for 10 minutes, then set aside.

Prepare the filling by creaming the cream cheese and white sugar in a stand mixer. Spoon in the pumpkin, spices, and salt. Add the milk and eggs. When combined, add the all-purpose flour, and mix thoroughly. Pour the filling into the prepared spring form pan,

Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes, until just set. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap, for four hours. Serve chilled.
Enjoy :)

Cheesecake photo courtesy of Foodnetwork.com

4 comments:

  1. Yeah, I don't trust wrapping the spring form pan in foil. IT WILL sneak a tear and LEAK! lol So I do the pan of water below.
    Funny you posted this, I was going through recipe books today and found a few fall flavored recipes I want to try.

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  2. Oh for sure! I learned that the hard way. I had entered a local baking contest years ago, for the annual tropical fruit festival. I made a fantastic mango cheesecake, but baked it, wrapped in foil, in a water bath. The crust was ruined. So much for my entry *sigh*. Oh well... we still enjoyed the middle ;)

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  3. Yum. My mom loves anything with pumpkin in it. I think this will be perfect for our Mother's Day tea. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. You're welcome!! I'm sure she'll love it. Feel free to make this a day or two before, since it needs to be chilled anyway.

    Have a great Mother's Day!

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