Broaden you baking horizons and use fresh pumpkin this year. It's easier than you think. There's no time to waste; pumpkins are in the store now. Save the pumpkin seeds and place them on a cookie sheet with foil and top them with your favorite spices and herbs and bake them—Yum, Yum.
1. Rinse pumpkin.
2. Place in the microwave.
3. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
4. Remove from oven.
5. Pierce entire pumpkin skin deeply with a fork or metal skewer.
6. Microwave on high for another 2 to 4 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and wrap in foil.
8. Let stand for about 5 minutes.
9. Slice open the pumpkin.
10. Remove seeds.
11. Scrape-out pulp.
12. Mash pulp.
Ms Pellegrini from About.com states that this pumpkin cheesecake recipe has a gingersnap crust, robust pumpkin flavor, and a smooth, creamy texture.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Cheesecake
To make pumpkin cheesecake, you’ll need:
· 1 1/4 cups gingersnap crumbs (about 10 oz)
· 4 tablespoons butter
· 2 lbs very soft cream cheese
· 1 1/2 cups sugar
· 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 1 cup pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
· 2 tablespoons pumpkin-pie spice
· 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 4 large eggs, room temperature
Prepare Oven and Pan
Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Create Cheesecake Crust
Combine the gingersnap crumbs with ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Melt the butter in the microwave, then stir in the butter until the crumbs are moist and start sticking together. Pour the crumbs into the springform pan and press them into an even layer in the bottom. Don’t worry about going up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Once it’s done, turn the oven down to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make the Cheesecake Filling
While the crust is baking, make the filling. Put the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat it on medium speed until it’s really smooth. Scrape down the sides often to get any chunks of cream cheese incorporated. It’s important to get the cheese really smooth now, so we don’t do any unnecessary mixing later on.
Add the remaining 1-1/4 cup of granulated sugar and beat until smooth. Your cream cheese mixture should be lump-free by now, and once the sugar is added it’ll start to loosen up and look more liquid. Add the flour, beating until it’s just incorporated.
Then add the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix on low speed until they disappear into the batter. Don't forget to keep scraping down the mixer bowl.
Now it’s time to add the eggs. We want our cheesecake to be perfect, without any cracks, so it’s really important to not beat the mixture too much once we start adding eggs. We don’t want to beat in any extra air that may cause the cake to crack. Add the eggs one at a time, on low speed, beating just until the egg disappears into the cheesecake.
Pour Filling In and Bake Cheesecake
Once everything is mixed, pour the filling onto the baked crust and put the cheesecake on a baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn the oven off, but don’t take the cheesecake out! Let it sit in the cooling oven for an additional 2 hours, without opening the door. This long, low baking time and gradual cool-down will give your cheesecake a great texture.
After the 2 hours is up, take it out of the oven and let it cool completely. Cover the top and refrigerate it overnight, or until it is firm to the touch.
The next day, carefully unmold it from the springform pan. It should slip out pretty easily, but you can use a knife to free it if you need to.
Serving Pumpkin Cheesecake
Cut it into slices using a large sharp knife, rinsing it when you need to to get the cleanest cuts. This cheesecake is best served at room temperature.
You can top it with a little whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, but the truth is, it’s so rich and flavorful, it’s excellent served plain. I guarantee this is the best pumpkin cheesecake you’ll ever make.
Happy pumpkin carving and cutting, and thanks for reading my blog today!