Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake

For the last two years, I have made this pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving. It is a great alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie and a fun way to use up fall pumpkins. Not only is this cheesecake super easy, but it makes a stunning presentation that is sure to impress your Thanksgiving guests.


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted


3 packages cream cheese (three 8 oz. packages)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree (or one 16 oz. can)
2 eggs
2/3 cup undiluted evaporated milk ( one 5 oz. can)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


2 cups sour cream (one 16 oz. carton)
1 /4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Crust: Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in medium bowl. Press into the bottom and sides of a 10-inch spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Do not allow to brown.

For Cheesecake: Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Beat in pumpkin, eggs and evaporated milk. Add cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg and beat until well combined. Pour into the crust and bake for 55 - 60 minutes at 350 degrees.

For Topping: While the cheesecake is baking, combine sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Once the cheesecake is done, pull it out of the oven and spread the topping evenly over the hot cheesecake. Return it to the oven and allow it to bake for another 10 minutes. I usually turn the oven off when there is about 3 minutes of bake time remaining. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool completely before removing the sides of the springform pan. Garnish with graham cracker crumbs and orange zest if desired.

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