Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This terrific recipe says "Thanksgiving" to me. I prefer it to pumpkin pie—the subtle cream cheese flavor is nice with pumpkin. Also, the pecan-and-gingersnap crust has won over some gingerbread-haters in our family. The original recipe is from Frank Stitt's Southern Table. The one change I've made to his recipe is that I cook all the cream cheese mixture in the springform pan as opposed to reserving a small amount to spread over the top of the baked cheesecake. The idea of raw eggs is unappealing to me. Instead I serve this with Amaretto whipped cream. Cheesecake is very easy to make and it never fails to impress. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake
30 gingersnaps
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups pumpkin
1/4 heavy cream
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
Amaretto Whipped Cream

1. Pulse gingersnaps and pecans in a food processor until ground. Combine crumb mixture with brown sugar and melted butter. Press mixture in bottom and up sides of a lightly greased springform pan.
2. Beat cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and next 3 ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared crust.
3. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes; then run knife around edge of pan and release sides. Cool completely on rack. Chill cheesecake 8 hours or overnight. Top with Amaretto Whipped Cream, if desired.

Amaretto Whipped Cream
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Amaretto

1. Beat cream with an electric mixer, gradually adding in sugar and Amaretto. Beat until soft peaks form.

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