I've been making what is now known as Kristina's Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake for about 4 or 5 years now, and every Thanksgiving it is a staple at our dinner table.
BUT, this year I'll be spending Turkey day with HB's family out on his ranch in the Hill Country (yes, that's still Texas).
So what to do?
Why, bake not one but two pumpkin cheesecakes of course!
The funny thing about blogging is, it makes you want to share everything. I have jealously guarded my secret recipe for years now (even family members are verboten) but thanks to blogging, that's all out the window now. The more the merrier! Enjoy!
No, seriously. Enjoy. It's that good.
Tip: fully printable recipe card is at the bottom of this post.
You'll need 1 pound of cream cheese. Not low fat, not fat free, not whipped. Plain ol' cream cheese. Don't be put off by these photos - I doubled the recipe to make two, remember?
"It's best with lots 'o butter." Anyone seen the movie Drop Dead Gorgeous? H-hello? Anyone? *tap tap* Is this thing on?
Oh, maybe it's just me then.
Quite possibly one of the best Christmas presents ever, last year! It's what makes this recipe work so well. Well, okay, it makes it work easier.
Here are the graham cracker crumbs mixed with cinnamon and sugar. Yum!
Pumpkin puree, waiting for its moment in the spotlight. 1 cup for 1 cake, 2 cups for 2 cakes!
2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks are all ya need. Egg yolks are pretty disgusting looking when you really look at them, aren't they. Yeesh.
Secret blend of sugars and spices for the pumpkin cheesecake filling.
For the ingredients to this secret, see the bottom of this post.
Not such a secret.
Cream cheese has been creamed, and the secret yummy ingredients are being added, as well as the pumpkin puree.
Look at it go!
The oven has been preheated, and now it's time to melt the butter, mix it in the graham cracker crust with a fork, pour it into the oiled springfrom pan, and press it along the bottom and sides with the bottom of a drinking glass.
And that's just the crust!
(P.S. - the crust is the best part, say most of the people who eat this cake.)
Crust has been baked, filling has been poured into the mold, and now it's into the oven with ye, ye scurvy rascal!!
Also in the oven: a little dish of hot water to moisten the air.
Lookin' good pumpkin cheesecake. Have you been working out?
Place the cheesecake on a rack to cool, and stick a large bowl over it to help it cool down a little slower (we don't want cracks in our lovely cake, do we?).
Let cool completely before sticking it in the refrigerator for 48 hours to chill out before serving.
Top it with Creme Fraiche or just some quickly whipped cream (with sugar of course) and you're good to serve! I like to add pecans for a little something extra. :)
(8 inch springform pan)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Lightly grease or oil springform pan.
Mix together with a fork until all ingredients moistened:
1 ½ cups fine graham cracker crumbs, or made from gingersnaps, vanilla
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) melted butter, warm or cool
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Using your fingertips or the flat bottom of a drinking glass, firmly press the mixture over the bottom and ½ inch up the sides of a pie pan or over the bottom of a springform pan. Freeze for 20 minutes or bake until the crust is lightly browned and firm to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes. Use hot if filling with a mixture that requires baking.
Have all ingredients at room temperature, 68° to 70°F.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a loaf pan or cake pan filled with hot water in the oven to moisten the air.
⅔ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
In a large bowl, beat just until smooth, 30 to 60 seconds:
1 pound cream cheese
Scrape the sides of the bowl and the beaters well. Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Beat in 1 at a time until blended, and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Add and beat in just until mixed:
1 cup pumpkin puree
Scrape the batter into the crust and smooth the top. Set the pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F, reduce oven temperature to 325°F, and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center still looks moist and jiggles when the pan is tapped, 10 minutes more.
Scrape the Crème Fraîche on top of the hot cake. Place the pan on a rack and cover the pan and rack with a large inverted bowl or pot so cake cools slowly. Let cool completely before unmolding. Cover & refrigerate 48 hours before serving.
Do me a favor? Stumble this recipe if you like it/have made it/plan to make it/now have hunger pangs. It helps a lot and is greatly appreciated!