This miniature Taste of Home magazine is among those you see as you’re checking out in the grocery store- the ones you flip through as your frozen pizza and cheetos are being scanned, and if you’re like me you’re frantically trying to decide if you should toss it onto the conveyor belt before the cashier starts giving you the evil eye and wondering why you’re not digging into your wallet for a means of payment. I’m suckered into these little magazines more often than not. A devoted cheesecake fan myself (I drool at the mere sight of the stuff) so I was easily lured into this cover recipe: Deluxe Pumpkin Cheesecake.
The preparation is that of a typical cheesecake- cream cheese, sugar, egg, etc. The batter is divided and part is mixed with some pumpkin puree. The pumpkin is swirled in with the regular cheesecake to create a festive-looking dessert that sits upon a gingersnap-pecan crust. The only thing tricky about it is baking it in a water bath, but it simply must be done. I’m never very good about knowing when cheesecake has just the right jiggle in the middle and is ready to remove from the oven- a water bath helps (see my notes below). If you’re looking for something a little different to make for Thanksgiving, this might be it. It’s quite the delicious cheesecake, pumpkin swirl and all. See my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe…
Deluxe Pumpkin Cheesecake
Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 40 min
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 min
1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20)
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
chocolate syrup, caramel ice cream topping, whipped topping, additional crushed gingersnap cookies
1. Place a greased 9-inch springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 19 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
2. In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, pecans and butter. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
3. For filling, in a large bowl, beat the one package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in remaining cream cheese, one package at a time. Add remaining sugar. Add 2 eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Add vanilla and remaining eggs, beating on low speed just until combined.
4. Place 2 cups filling in a small bowl; stir in the pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove 3/4 cup pumpkin filling; set aside. Pour remaining pumpkin filling over crust; top with remaining plain filling. Drop reserved pumpkin filling by spoonfuls over cheesecake; cut through with a knife to swirl.
5. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 inch of hot water to larger pan. Bake at 350 for 55-65 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
6. Garnish with chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, whipped topping and additional crushed gingersnaps if desired.
*Baking cheesecake in a water bath is the only way to go. It helps to keep the cheesecake from cracking on top, and it tends to keep the cheesecake from drying out. I find that even if I tend to overbake the cheesecake, if it's in a water bath it doesn't usually crack.
*Even though the cheesecake only has a pumpkin swirl in it, the pumpkin flavor comes through just fine. I'd have to say that I prefer it to a classic pumpkin cheesecake where you're slammed with full-force pumpkin in every bite.
*The caramel and chocolate might seem like decadent additions to an already-fattening dessert, but a bite of cheesecake with a bit of those syrups dripping from it is pretty darn amazing. I wouldn't skip them.
*If your cheesecake does happen to crack, strategically place whipped cream and syrups to cover the mishap.
Source: Taste of Home Holiday: Thanksgiving, October 2009
It was a big hit at my house. The hint of pumpkin was perfect.
Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?
Absolutely. I subscribe to quite a few cooking magazines, and I was a little tired of seeing turkey on the November covers this year. Dessert is a bigger draw for me, and pumpkin cheesecake is an awfully nice diversion from the traditional pumpkin pie.