Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake!

♥♥ Intermediate 

It's been nearly a month since the last time I posted on the blog, but I've had good reason. We just found out that we're expecting baby #2 (please, hold your applause and excitement). With that in mind, I'm sure you can figure out why I haven't been baking. (If you can't, I'm tired and I smell EVERYTHING... which really isn't great on your stomach if you're in the kitchen with fruity and spicy smells.) 

However, I'm determined to get back in the kitchen and continue to spread fabulous recipes to all the world. You're welcome. 

I decided to make a Pumpkin Cheesecake for family home evening this week, and it turned out really good. To be honest, I thought it would be so similar to a pumpkin pie that adding cream cheese wouldn't even matter, but it was very uniquely a cheesecake... and very, very, very tasty. If you're looking for a good pumpkin recipe, you should definitely try this one. And aside from the insane amount of cream cheese you'll need, it's a very short list of ingredients. This does take considerable time to make, so start late in the evening and sleep while it's cooling. Happy baking!  (I need to give some credit to Mrs. Martha Stewart too, because I stole this from her...) 

What you'll need: 
For the crust... 

  • 10 Whole Graham Crackers (crushed)
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
For the filling: 
  • 4 Packages (8 oz. bars) Cream Cheese, very soft
  • 1 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Canned Pumpkin Puree (I added WAYYYYY more than 1 Cup, but I probably should have left it at that.. ) 
  • 2 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Large Eggs, Room Temperature

How it's done: 

***To prevent the top from cracking, be careful not to overmix the batter, and do not open the oven door while the cake is baking or cooling inside the oven.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Assemble a 9-inch nonstick springform pan, with the raised side of the bottom part facing up.
  2. Make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until moistened; press firmly into bottom of pan. Bake until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. (I put the graham crackers, sugar, and butter in the food processor on pulse - and it was SOOOO easy!) 
  3. Make the filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth; mix in flour (do not overmix). Add pumpkin puree, pie spice, vanilla, and salt; mix just until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next.
  4. Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour filling into springform, and gently smooth top. Transfer to oven; reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Bake 45 minutes. Turn off oven; let cheesecake stay in oven 2 hours more (without opening).
  5. Remove from oven; cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours. Un-mold before serving.

I really loved this recipe, it was a great combination of the flavors that I have always loved, and the texture of cheesecake (and honestly, there is no better texture). Try it. You'll like it.