Monday, November 29, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

As promised, here's an honest-to-goodness, non-lupus related recipe! I make this instead of a traditional pumpkin pie because it's way tastier. This is a recipe I've adapted from one in a Williams Sonoma cookbook. (For more detailed cheesecake instructions, see a previous recipe). A few quick notes, though. It's fine to use normal graham crackers instead of cinnamon crackers, but if you do you may want to add a tablespoon or so of sugar to the crumbs. Also, the cream cheese and eggs really must be at room temperature. Cream cheese can be nuked for ~30 seconds in the microwave, but do not do this with eggs... or if you do, please take pictures. What I do to warm up eggs is I take a bowl full of hot water (but not boiling!) from the tap, and plop the eggs in it while I make the cheesecake crust. By the time I'm ready to make the filling they'll have warmed up enough.

Preheat oven to 325F

In a blender or food processor crush:
1 package cinnamon graham crackers (~10 crackers, but it's not exact)

6 Tbsp butter
1 tsp ground ginger.

Mix until crumbs are an even size. Press into a greased 9" springform pan. Chill by sticking in the fridge for 30 minutes, or if you're in a hurry like I was, just stick it in the freezer while you make the filling.

Beat until very smooth:
1 1/2 lbs cream cheese

Add and beat until smooth:
1 C brown sugar

Add and beat until smooth:
Before Baking
2 Cups pumpkin (I use a 15oz can, it works well)
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (OR 1/2 tsp cloves and 1/2 tsp nutmeg)

Add one at a time, beating until smooth between each one:
6 eggs (No, this isn't a heart-healthy recipe, and no, you can't use egg replacer instead).

Pour into chilled crust, and stick in the oven for ~ 1 hour.

When cheesecake is done the sides will be slightly risen, and the center will be almost, but not quite, set.
After Baking

Allow to cool at room temperature ~30 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides. Then, ideally, let cool until it's at room temperature, then stick it in the fridge overnight. If you, like me, are rushed, stick the cheesecake directly in the fridge after running a knife around the edge. This will make it more likely to crack, but oh well. I've never noticed that anyone cares much as long as it tastes good (which this will).

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