I had this can of pumpkin in my cupboard that I knew would sit until next Fall if I didn’t do something with it, so I dug through a few recipes and put together my first attempt at a cheesecake. I went with a pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust. I was pretty impressed by the results. It was creamy, well-spiced and was a lot easier than I thought it would be. The crust was the only think I was hesitant about, because I needed 4 cups of gingersnaps but I didn’t have enough so I did some improvising with surprisingly good results. Most cheesecakes are made in a spring-form pan, I didn’t have one so instead I lined a 9″ cake pan with foil for easy removal. This is also cooked in a bain-marie or water bath, which promotes a gentler and more even cooking and keeps the custardy filling creamy.
4 c crumbs (I used 2 c gingersnaps and 2 c corn flakes and ground them in a food processor)
4 Tbs butter, melted
2 Tbs brown sugar
Mix crumbs, butter and sugar until mixture resembles wet sand and press into foil-lined pan (or spring-form). Bake @ 325 degrees for 7 minutes until set. Remove and let cool while you work on the filling. At this time, you should also put on a tea kettle of water that you will need later for the water bath.
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, not the pumpkin pie filling)
You will need to use a stand or hand mixture so the filling gets thoroughly mixed. Combine the cheese, spices, salt and sugar in mixer and whip until fluffy.
Add the pumpkin and mix until combined. Then, with the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time, waiting for the first to mix in before adding the second. I had to stop and scrape down the bowl a few times (and to make sure nothing was stuck at the bottom). Once the mixture is combined and a uniform color, pour the filling into the cooked and cooled crust.
Carefully place the cake pan into a larger roaster (I used a larger 9×13 pan) and put in the oven, then before you close the door, add the hot water to the larger pan. I do it this way so the risk of water sloshing into the filling is gone.
Bake for 1 hour. Remove from water bath and let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before refrigerating overnight.
When ready to serve, pull the cake from the pan and peel off the foil before plating.