Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Recipe Review: Tried and True best Pumpkin Cheesecake you will ever eat. Go make this right now.

For the past few years I've been making pumpkin cheesecake for Halloween/Thanksgiving. (Basically I'll make a pumpkin recipe whenever I can get away with it. I hate how society forces us to only eat pumpkin in the fall. I've been stockpiling canned pumpkin this year so I can use it whenever. Take that seasons!) In general everyone loves cheesecake, and whenever it gets cut into and people realize that its a pumpkin cheesecake, they flip. Its actually pretty easy to make, and can be made up to a week in advance.

mine looked just like this- minus the pecans on top- I swear, I was just in a hurry and didn't get to take pictures

The recipe that I use is from Joy of Baking its very detailed and walks you though all the steps along the way. (The degree of details might make it look a little overwhelming at first, but trust me its not)

Pumpkin Cheesecake
serves 10-12

1cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cups finely ground ginger cookies
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
4-5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling:
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup white sugar

Preheat over to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter an 8 inch spring form pan. (I have also made these as bars, just doubling the recipe, using a jelly roll pan, and carefully monitoring the baking) 

For Crust: in a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, finely ground ginger snaps, sugar and melted butter. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared spring form pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For Filling: In a separate bowl, stir to combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt
In a second larger bowl beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth (about 2 minutes). Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until creamy and smooth (1-2 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree.

Pour the filling over the chilled crust and place the spring-form pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Place a cake pan, filled halfway with hot water on the bottom shelf of your oven to moisten the air. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue to bake for another 10- 20 minutes (mine was more like 30) or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center is still wet and giggles when you gently shake the pan. (I always err on the side of cooking a little too much because like like a firmer cheesecake. Only the very center should jiggle when you do the shake test)

Meanwhile whisk together the sour cream, vanilla extract and sugar. pour the sour cream mixture over the top of the baked cheesecake, rotating the pan to evenly distribute the topping. Return the cheesecake to the over and bake 8-10 minutes to set the topping. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Loosen the cake from the pan by running a sharp knife around the inside edge (this will prevent the cake from cracking) then place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan so the cheesecake will cool slowly. When completely cooled, cover and refrigerate at least eight hours, preferable overnight, before serving.

The cheesecake got great reviews (my friend's boyfriend actually thought it was store bought and asked me twice if I had actually baked it myself) I love anything you can make ahead to cut down on holiday stress, so recipes like this always get a thumbs up from me. Oh and I cannot properly describe how amazing this will make your house smell when you are baking it. Someone should make a Pumpkin Cheesecake candle (except then I would want to eat cheesecake all the time...)

Update: My friend took a picture with her iphone so there actually is a small photo of my cheesecake

1 comment:

  1. don't forget a bottle of Dogfish Head Pumpkin Ale to go with it.