Recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake

Here is a great recipe for the holidays: Pumpkin Cheesecake. Rather than canned pumpkin, this recipe uses roasted pumpkin which adds a lot more flavor. Your food processor makes it easy to puree the roasted pumpkin. The food processor also makes fresh ginger snap crumbs quickly and easily.

The pumpkin doesn't just add a great holiday flavor; it also makes this cheesecake super moist. This is a great cheesecake for beginners, since it is normally difficult to make a moist cheesecake. The roasted pumpkin takes care of that problem for you.

One warning: if you bake this without a water bath it will likely crack on the top. I have no problem with the cracking; I think it adds to the rustic, homemade look. I do put a pan of water on the shelf below and I find this minimizes the cracks, but it does not eliminate them. If the cracks bother you, you will need to use a traditional Bain Marie, or water bath, and extend the baking time by 15 minutes.

Ingredients

Crust:

1 1/2 cups of ginger snap crumbs (pulse ginger snaps in your food processor till crumbed)

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of ground mace

4 ounces of melted salted butter

Filling:

One small to medium pie pumpkin (it will need to produce 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree)

24 ounces of cream cheese (cultured cream cheese adds the best flavor, if you are able to procure it)

3 whole eggs plus one additional yolk

1/4 cup of full-fat sour cream

1/2 cup of white sugar

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ground mace

1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves

2 tablespoons of all purpose white flour

1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract

Directions

Heat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Split the pie pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy stuff. Rub the pumpkin lightly with the oil of your choice (I like to use avocado oil.) Bake until the pumpkin is soft all the way through, this should take about 45 minutes. Cool slightly, then puree in your food processor. Set aside.

Put a pan of water on the bottom shelf of your oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the ginger snap crumbs, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground mace and 4 ounces of melted butter in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well. Press into the bottom of a greased 9 inch springform pan. Set the ginger bread crust aside.

Put the cream cheese into a stand mixer fitted with the beater paddle. Beat until completely smooth. Add the pumpkin puree. Beat till smooth and combined. Add the eggs and the yolk one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the sour cream, beat again. Add the sugar, beat again. Add the brown sugar, beat again. Add the cinnamon, mace, cloves, sea salt, flour and pure vanilla extract. Beat again.

Pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling into the prepared ginger snap crust. Bake for one hour, rotating it halfway after 30 minutes. Turn the oven off, but don't open it and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the pumpkin cheesecake from the oven and let it cool at room temperature for 2 hours. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for six hours before slicing. Premature slicing will result in a mushy mess; the cheesecake will not be "set" until it is fully chilled. Enjoy!

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