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Pumpkin "Spice" Cheesecake


Pumpkin "Spice" Cheesecake

Though the title makes me sound like a valley girl, I’m FAR from it, basically.  I have NEVER liked pumpkin pie.  I tried a twist on the flavors a few years back, and once I made this cheesecake, it became the requested dessert that I bring to holiday gatherings!! Recently, I’ve revamped the topping and crust a little bit to make a beautiful Pumpkin “Spice” Cheesecake!

12 oz. GENERIC gingersnap cookies
2 T brown sugar, packed
6 T salted butter, melted
1/2 C chopped nuts (hazelnuts or pecans)
Pinch of Kosher Salt

3 (8 oz.) packages of Cream Cheese, room temp
15 oz. can of pure pumpkin puree (if watery, drained.)
3 Large Eggs, plus 1 yolk
¼ C of Sour Cream, room temp
1 ½ C of granulated sugar
½ t cinnamon
¼ t fresh ground nutmeg
¼ t allspice
1/8 t cumin (this is my secret ingredient that gives a little “smokiness” to the flavor.)
2 T All-purpose flour
1 t pure vanilla extract

Other stuff that you’ll need:
Food Processor OR rolling pin
9 inch Spring Form Pan
11inch cake plate OR Aluminum Foil
Large enough pan to hold water and 11 inch cake plate
Stand/hand mixer
Piping Bag
Standard star tip

Bring all of your refrigerated ingredients to room temp. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Make sure that the spring form pan is fitted with the bottom bevel upward; Prepare the Spring Form Pan with doubled Aluminum foil wrap to cover the outside making it watertight. If using a 11 inch cake plate, no need to do this part ☺.

For Crust:
In a food processor, grind the gingersnaps into a fine meal. It will take SEVERAL pulses (35 for me). The generic ginger snaps aren’t as hard and will pulverize MUCH easier.
Mix together with brown sugar, salt and add melted butter. Press into the bottom and up the sides of the spring form pan and par bake in your preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Other school of thought is to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.  

For Filling:
A key to the filling is to make sure that not too much air gets in to avoid cracks. Beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth on a low speed. Add pumpkin puree (NOTE: when can is inverted, the pumpkin puree should not come out, if it does, drain excess water out of can before adding to mixture), eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, and spices. Add Flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined on a low speed.  Pour into chilled/parbaked crust. If using, place pan into 11 inch cake pan. If watertight with aluminum foil, go ahead and place into water bath in oven for 1 hour. DO NOT open the oven! I mean, you can, but it may crack your cheesecake. Ovens vary, SO, when 50 minutes has passed, check the cake to see if there is about a 3-4 inch circle in the center that is a little jiggly and the sides are puffed up.^^^^ Turn the oven off and crack the door for about an hour to let the cake start cool. Then, remove and cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. This is the hardest part about cheesecake: you can’t eat it right away ☹.

After the cheesecake has chilled, it’s time to unmold. If you used aluminum foil, remove it, release the clasp on the spring form ring and remove. With a butter knife, loosen up the crust from the bottom and slide the cake onto your serving platter.

This will need to be refrigerated and will stay for about 4 days.

^^^^After testing this recipe a few more times, the water bath slows the cooking process slightly, it could take up to 1 hr 20 minutes to get the result of the "set" in the cheesecake. Also, I found better results after turning oven off, when I left the door closed for 15 minutes and then cracked for 45. Either way, it's DELICIOUS!