Are you tired of pumpkin yet? How 'bout one more recipe? I was supposed to share this pumpkin cheesecake with you all last Sunday for The Cake Slice Bakers, but I waited to make this for Thanksgiving so I'm just now getting to it. I hope you'll forgive my tardiness!
When I moved out on my own into my first apartment (in 2000) I scoured my mom's pantry for canned goods and staples to take along with me. Part of my stash included a can of pumpkin puree. I didn't bake much back then but my mom wasn't going to use it, so I figured 'why not?'. Well 3 years later, Mister H and I got a place together and the can of unused pumpkin came along with us.
Fast forward to November 2005 and we are newlyweds and living in our new house! We decided that we wanted to host our first Thanksgiving in our home for all of our family- 16 in total. I prepped, chopped, basted, baked and mixed in preparation for that day. At 10 pm Thanksgiving Eve I brought out my trusty can of pumpkin puree in order to make a homemade pumpkin pie. I opened the can and the puree had turned army green! It was disgusting and hilarious at the same time. I promptly sent my hubby along with my Dad, who had come in town for the holiday, to the grocery store for a couple more fresh cans. They saved the day and I learned my lesson- canned pumpkin doesn't last through 3 moves. ha!
And in case you're wondering, I used a fresh can of pumpkin for this cheesecake. You can tell because my cheesecake is autumn hued and not mossy green. :-) It was creamy and fluffy, a little spicy and pumpkin-y, but not overwhelmingly so. I decided to make my own crust because the original called for ground pecans (which my cousin is allergic to) and crystallized ginger (which I don't like). I opted for a buttery oatmeal cookie crust with cinnamon in lieu of graham crackers and it was delicious. I garnished my cake with toasted pumpkin seeds and sweetened whipped cream. I tasted it at room temperature, but it was best eaten cold right out of the fridge. If you're not totally over pumpkin, I hope you'll give this a try.
For the Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups finely ground oatmeal cookie crumbs (about 12 cookies or half of a 12.5 ounce package of Mother's Oatmeal Cookies)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 pounds (20 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 large eggs
For the Crust: Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9x3 inch springform pan with baking spray. Cut an 18 inch square of heavy duty aluminum foil and wrap the foil around the outside of the pan. Set aside.
Place cookies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse cookies until they're finely ground.
Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl along with ground cinnamon and mix together. Add melted butter to crumbs and mix til all the crumbs are well coated.
Press crumb mixture into an even layer over the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crust turns golden brown.
Place the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
For the Filling: Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees F.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt until well combined.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as necessary.
Gradually add the sugars and beat until blended.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
Add the pumpkin mixture and mix until blended. Then add the cornstarch and mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into the cooled crust.
Place the pan in a large roasting pan. Fill the pan with enough water to reach 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake in the water bath for 70 to 80 minutes, or until the center of the cake is set but slightly wobbly (the cake will set completely as it cools).
Remove the cake pan from the water bath. Place the pan on a wire rack. Carefully remove the foil from the pan.
Immediately run the tip of a paring knife around the sides of the pan, to prevent the top of the cheesecake from cracking.
Let the cake cool completely then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and whipped cream.