Here comes Thanksgiving!


pumpkin-patch-1In celebration of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share one of my specialties, pumpkin cheesecake! I got this recipe from somewhere – most likely the cooking channel, and adapted it to fit my tastes. I love the traditional pumpkin pie flavors in the creamy setting of a cheesecake, it makes it so much more decadent! You can get crazy with the crust; personally, my preference is amaretti cookies, but those can be hard to find sometimes, so this year it’s gingerbread cookies! If you have a World Market nearby, I highly recommend picking up one of their tins of ginger cookies – I hate ginger and I love those cookies (and so do my ponies!). Everything else is pretty straight forward.

For the Crust:

  • 1 cup of cookie crumbs
  • 3 Tbs. brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch spring form pan and line with parchment paper and covered in foil on the outside (you are going to bake the cake in a water bath, so you don’t want any of the water seeping in through the pan). In a food processor, mix the cookie crumbs, brown sugar, salt, and butter. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer with your fingers. Back for about 12 minutes, or until it starts to brown. Set aside and let cool on rack while preparing the filling.

For the Filling:

  • 3 packages (8oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 15 oz. pureed pumpkin
  • 3 Tbs sour cream
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium for about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and beat for another 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and mix for about 1 minute (we are trying to incorporate air to make the cake nice and fluffy). Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one is incorporated. Add the pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt. Mix for 30 seconds, pour into the cooled crust. Place the pan in the center of a baking sheet, carefully pour hot water into the pan until there is about 1/4 of an inch of water. The water bath is key to keeping the cheesecake moist and silky (and not cracking!). Turn the oven down to 325F and back for about 1 hour, or until it is just set in the middle. Remove cake from the oven and let cool at room temperature (imperative that you let it cool completely or it will crack when you put in the fridge), then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

I also like to top my cheesecake with some amaretto whipped cream!



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