I made a pumpkin cheesecake for thanksgiving. I'm not a huge baker or anything, but I figure why not share. This thing tastes great. It's the second year in a row I've made one, so don't be scared.
Anyways, not sure where the recipe is from. It came off the inner-webs somewhere...the color commentary is by me. I added a few of my own touches to the recipe and will indicate where. They are optional changes, not deal-killers...
Here we go...Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter, melted (don't get squirrelly on this one; go for the real stick butter, not magarine!)
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (last year I found ginger flavored graham crackers but this year, nada)
1/2 cup crispy gingersnaps
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 ts cinnamon
I added a ts of ginger and had more gingersnaps than graham crackers. I also upped the total crust to 1 1/2 total cups, just to have a little extra crust. I also added a pinch of salt...just a little!
1 cup whipping cream (the liquid kind in a milk carton)
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 ts cinnamon
3/4 ts ginger powder
3/8 ts clove
1/3 cups pecan halves (for decoration, but I don't play that)
My addition here amounts to 1/2 ts of nutmeg...you can't have pumpkin anything without nutmeg!
If you live in the metric world, you'll have to convert. Here's a handy calculator.
Oven at 350 degrees (300 for a convection oven). For the crust, pound the crap out of the graham crackers and gingersnaps until they are pulverized. (One note here: I got suggestions for using food processor or a rolling pin...without success. I put them in a plastic bag and hit them with a hammer...no problem. If you have problems with them, I suggest a belt sander with 60 grit sandpaper...you just have to figure out a way to catch the dust!) Put the crumbs in a bowl and mix in the other crust ingredients with a fork. Spray a 10-inch springform pan (if you don't have a springform pan, do not try this at home!) with non-stick spray and then press the crumb mixture into the pan.
For the filling, pour the whipping cream into a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. I have no clue wtf soft peaks are supposed to be, but I stopped when it got creamy...stick it in the fridge until ready for use. In a big bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, then gradually add sugar. Add eggs one at a time, and then mix until fluffy. I know it was already fluffy, but you have to re-fluff. Mix in pumpkin and other ingredients. Then take the whipped cream out of the fridge (re-fluff if necessary!) and fold into the mix with a spatula. I didn't mix it in all the way because I tried to make it look swirly...it didn't work. Pour the mix into the crust.
So here is where it gets difficult. You have to make the pan water tight somehow with aluminum foil. I wrapped several layers, and I'm not sure how successful I was. Put the pan in a baking pan and fill the baking pan up with water until it is half-way up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes...it looks real jiggly, but the toothpick test works, and I went the full 70. Cool it down to room temp and then chill for 5 hours. Put the pecan halves around the outside for decoration (again, homey don't play that!)
One final note here. I bought a can of Libby's pumpkin puree. It has 1 3/4 cups of pumpkin in it. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups. I don't know what happens if you add the 1/4 cup, maybe it blows up. I suggest you make enough cheescakes so that you eventually hit the common denominator and you don't have any wasted pumpkin.
I realize it's too late for you to make this for thanksgiving dinner, but Walmart opens sometime tonight for black friday. When the doors open and everybody goes running for the $4 toasters, you can calmly gather the ingredients on the flip side of the store.