Well, fall finally showed up in Kansas City and with it, all the excitement about pumpkin. And while I’m not a pumpkin fan, I adore the warm spices that are associated with pumpkin – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves!
One of the pumpkin-obsessed people in my life is a co-worker with an October birthday. Shortly after I discovered he loves pumpkin, I told him I’d make him a pumpkin cheesecake. I don’t care for it, but I hear it’s killer and he believed me.😉 So October rolled around and as promised, this appeared at the office. Fortunately, it lived up to my bragging and he was happy. He kindly shared it with the team, then took the rest home for himself.
My biggest tip: Be sure to wrap your pan in foil. I did, but because I don’t follow my own directions (big surprise, huh?) I used too much butter and my pan leaked. A lot. Up and over the foil, onto the bottom of the oven. Burned butter isn’t the best smell, but even worse is the sound of all the smoke detectors on our main floor going off. My son had to take the dogs outside because the noise was piercing!
If you love pumpkin pie – or pumpkin anything, really – and cheesecake, you have to give this a try. I’m told you’ll love it!
If you need a good cheesecake book, I highly recommend The Joy of Cheesecake by Dana Bovbjerg & Jeremy Iggers. It was my go-to cheesecake book when I was baking at the restaurants and it’s still my go-to cheesecake book.
Slightly adapted from The Joy of Cheesecake (Bovbjerg & Iggers)
Stuff you need:
1 ½ cups graham crackers or gingersnap crumbs
4-5 Tablespoons butter, melted [4 Tbs if you’re using gingersnaps, 5 if using graham crackers]
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 ½ pounds cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
4 whole large eggs, lightly beaten
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten [in addition to the 4 whole eggs]
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom [optional]
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 can (16 oz) mashed pumpkin [not pumpkin pie mix]
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
½ cup toasted chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare a 10” springform pan by setting it on a large piece of foil and wrapping the foil up the sides. [If your cheesecake leaks like mine did, it’ll help keep your oven clean. Or not as messy.]
For the crust:
Mix all ingredients and press into bottom of 10” springform pan. Press crumb mixture to even thickness. Set aside.
For the cheesecake:
In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
Add the eggs and mix, then add the egg yolks and mix just until combined.
Add the flour and spices.
Using a low setting, beat in the cream and vanilla then add the mashed pumpkin. Beat at medium speed until just mixed thoroughly. Your bowl will be full and the batter will be fairly thin.
Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees and bake for an additional hour. The cheesecake should be mostly set but a little jiggly in the center.
Turn off the heat. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and run a wet knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Return the cheesecake to the oven for a couple hours to cool.
Before serving, warm the maple syrup and brush on the cheesecake. Drop the nuts into the syrup.
Serve the cheesecake warm or chilled, with whipped cream – just like you would pumpkin pie!