Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cuisine at Home: Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

When you're a bit worn out on the traditional pumpkin pie, but you still want pumpkin in your life, what are you to do?  Make a fantastic pumpkin cheesecake, of course.  Cheesecake makes everything better, right?  Even if you're bursting at the seams from all that turkey and stuffing.  And a cheesecake with a touch of maple in just the right places is even better.  This was the hit of our Thanksgiving; what will be yours?

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake
Adapted from Cuisine at Home magazine

For the Crust:
1 cup gingersnap-cookie crumbs (24 small cookies)
1⁄2 cup graham cracker crumbs (4 graham crackers)
1⁄2 cup toasted pecan halves, pulsed in a food processor
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt

For the Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves

For the topping:
11⁄2 cups sour cream
 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 325°F; coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray.

Combine gingersnap crumbs and graham-cracker crumbs for the crust in a bowl. Add pecans; stir in butter, the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and salt until mixture is sandy. Press crumbs into bottom and 1 inch up sides of the prepared pan. Bake crust until it’s slightly golden, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from the oven; cool slightly.

Using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and the granulated and dark brown sugar in a bowl until mixture is fluffy. Add pumpkin, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Beat mixture until smooth, scraping sides of the bowl. Pour filling into crust; place springform pan on a baking sheet.

Bake cheesecake until sides are set but center still is jiggly, about 50 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven. (Leave oven on.)

Whisk together sour cream and maple syrup in a bowl. Spread topping over cheesecake. Return cheesecake to the oven; bake until it’s set, 15 minutes more. Turn off oven and crack open the door; leave cheesecake in the oven for 20 minutes more.

Remove cheesecake from oven. Allow cheesecake to cool in pan on a rack for about 1 hour. Loosely cover cheesecake in pan with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.

To serve, remove ring from the springform pan. Slice cheesecake with a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry before each cut. Garnish individual servings with whipped cream and sugared pecans, if desired.

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