Friday, October 9, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Pumpkin Cheesecake II

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap-Pecan Crust
And maple sour cream topping
Makes one 9” cheesecake

For the Crust –

24 small gingersnap cookies (to make 1 cup crumbs)
4 graham crackers (to make ½ cup crumbs)
½ cup pecan halves, toasted
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbs. sugar
Pinch of Salt

For the Filling –
3 pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature (8 oz each)
1 cup sugar
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz.)
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
Juice of ½ a lemon

For the Topping –
1-1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees; coat a 9” springform pan with nonstick spray.

Process gingersnaps for the crust in a food processor until fine (remove any big chunks); transfer to a bowl. Process crackers until fine and add to cookie crumbs. Pulse nuts until chopped and add to crumb mixture. Stir in butter, 2 Tbs. sugar, and salt until sandy, then press into the bottom and 1” up the sides of prepared pan. Place pan on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove and cool slightly.

Beat cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar for the filling in a bowl with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, spices, and lemon juice; beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically.

Pour filling over crust and bake 50-55 minutes, or until sides are set but center is still slightly jiggly. Remove cheesecake from oven (leave oven on).
Whisk sour cream and syrup for the topping together in a small bowl. Carefully spread topping over cheesecake, return it to the oven, and bake 15 minutes more, or until set. Turn oven off, crack the door, and leave cheesecake inside for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool to room temperature, then cover loosely with plastic and chill overnight. To serve, remove sides from the pan, then slice with a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry before each cut.

Total Time: 1 hours 30 minutes, plus cooling