Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pumpkin Cheesecake

My very favorite dessert is cheesecake.  Not the no-bake kind but the real kind, made in a spring form pan and baked just right.  I usually prefer just plain cheesecake with a little fruit on top but I also love pumpkin cheesecake.  This one is perfect, it has just the right amount of pumpkin flavor and is so creamy and delicious.
If making cheesecake scares you, here are a few simple tips to get it just right.
*Make it a day before you will need it.  It will taste better after sitting for 24 hours.
* Have all your ingredients at room temperature and don't over mix.
*Bake it in a hot water bath.  I line the outside of my spring form pan with tin foil before I make the crust then when it is time to bake it, put water in a shallow cookie sheet and place the spring form pan in the cookie sheet in the water.
*After cooking, prop the oven door open and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for an hour or so before taking out of the oven.  After that, let it cool for another hour or so before refrigerating. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least a few more hours before removing the sides and serving.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. sugar

1 cup sugar
3 (8oz) packages cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
14 tsp. allspice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the graham cracker crumbs with 1 Tbsp. sugar, then drizzle the melted butter over the top and stir to combine.
Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a spring form pan and up about 2/3rds of the way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 5 minutes and remove from the oven. Let cool slightly.
Combine the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl.  Mix until smooth but don't over mix.  Add the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and continue beating until smooth and creamy.  Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 60-70 minutes.  The center should be set but a little "jiggly" when done.

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