Whatcha Makin' Now?: Pumpkin Cheesecake


Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake

As you probably have noticed from previous posts, my office enjoys a good pot-luck or just treats in general.  Last week was no different, we had our pot-luck on Monday and then Wednesday we had another lunch.  We celebrated the one year mark of Helen's, my co-worker, DOUBLE knee replacement.  Helen's hubby brought in lasagna fresh out of the oven and we had salad and fresh bread.  I volunteered to do dessert and Helen requested Pumpkin Cheesecake.  She has good taste!  The only other cheesecake I've made was my chocolate cheesecake cake so I was ready to try it again.

This Pumpkin Cheesecake did not disappoint!  It was just like a creamy pumpkin pie with the perfect pumpkin spices.  And the cake was nice and thick giving sky high slices.  I really think I'll make this for Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin pie.  So good!

I opted for the traditional graham cracker crust, but for more spice you could use ginger snaps like Brown Eyed baker suggests.  

Pumpkin Cheesecake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 TBSP light brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
½ cup butter (1 stick), melted

32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 cups (a 15-oz can) canned pumpkin
4 eggs, at room temperature
2½ TBSP heavy cream
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Double wrap the bottom and outside of a 9-inch spring-form pan with heavy duty foil (will prevent water from getting into pan).  Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom and sides of the spring-form pan.  Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Bring a pot of water to a boil for a water bath. (The water bath will help prevent cracking on the top of the cheesecake.)

Mix together cream cheese and the sugars on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin and mix on low until completely incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well combines and scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat again, for about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, cloves and allspice and mix on low until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared and cooled crust. Tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Place the spring-form pan in a large roster pan.  Pour the boiling water into the roster pan until it is about ½ way up the spring-form pan. 

Bake for 55 to 70  minutes, or until the edges are set, but the middle still jiggles a little. Keep the cheesecake in the oven after baking, door closed, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 1 hour.  After the 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 (2 hours should do the trick). Once completely cool, refrigerate for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).