Sunday, November 10, 2013

Never-fail Pumpkin Cheesecake

This recipe is a little more complex then what I normally post....but let me explain. I love cheesecake. LOVE it! I also love anything pumpkin so naturally Pumpkin cheesecake would be one of my favorites. I've made many cheesecakes over the years and they don't always turn out well. Cheesecake can be touchy, and I've had some serious flops. I've also found a few recipes that are just about bullet-proof. This is one of them. I've been using this recipe since 2005. I found it in one of those holiday recipe books they sell next to the checkout in the grocery store and I've been using it ever since. You should see how dog-eared and stained that book is! lol

Cheesecake recipes are slightly more strict then almost anything else I make. There is no wiggle room. I can't add more of this or take out some of that...but follow the recipe exactly and you'll be in love with the results!

easy cheesecake recipe

Crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbs granulated sugar 
1/2 cup butter, melted

Filling:
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
4 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened 
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
5 eggs

Crust:
Heat oven to 325F. 
Put cracker crumbs and sugar in 9" spring form pan. Toss to mix. Slowly add in melted butter mixing thoroughly. Press into bottom of pan and about halfway up the sides. Place on baking sheet to prevent drips (I use a jelly roll pan) and bake for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate about 5-10 more minutes or until completely cool.

Filling: 
In small bowl mix flour, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin. Set aside. In large bowl beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs 1 at a time on low speed, just until blended. Gradually beat in pumpkin mixture until smooth. Pour over crust.

Bake:
Bake on center rack 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes or until set but center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved. Turn oven off and open door about 4 inches. Let the cheesecake remain in oven for 30 minutes. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and place on wire rack. Run knife around pan edges to loosen cheesecake. Cool another 30 minutes before removing pan ring. Remove ring and cool in refrigerator about 6 hours or overnight before serving. 

easy pumpkin cheesecake

A few tips and hints for cheesecake baking

Cheesecake baking technique:
When baking a cheesecake, I always place the largest cake pan I have on the lowest rack of the oven. Fill with about 1/2" of warm water. This creates steam in the oven and helps to keep the cheesecake from cracking. Make sure the pan doesn't dry out or it won't work. If you have to add water during baking, open the door gently and pour more hot water into the pan.  Shut the door gently.

Cheesecake cutting technique:
Use a non serrated knife if you have one available. Rinse knife under hot tap water and dry with a paper towel. Press knife straight down into cheesecake then pull it out. Rinse knife under hot tap water and dry again before each cut. You might actually be able to get 2 cuts between rinses, but you'll still have to wipe the knife each time. The water warms the knife up allowing it to make a cleaner looking slice. 

how to bake cheesecake

I promise you will love this recipe and find your self making it again and again! Enjoy!

~L

15 comments:

  1. This is just what I'm looking for. Our grocery store has cream cheese on sale and you get a free pie server when you buy 4. I'm a sucker for things like that so now I have 4 packs of cream cheese and an itch to make cheesecake. Our thanksgiving is going to be non-traditional by chance this year, so I'm bringing this cheesecake! 2 questions: 1. Does 1/3 fat cream cheese make a difference? 2. What are your thoughts about using gingersnap crumbs in place of graham cracker crumbs?

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    1. A free pie server? I'd go for that deal too!
      Ok...1) no, the 1/3 fat cream cheese should not make much of a difference. 2) Gingersnaps sound really good to me! It would add a little spice to it. Give it a try....let me know how it works out!

      ~L

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  2. I do not have a spring form pan. How important is this? Could it be split into 2 regular graham cracker crusts?

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    Replies
    1. I don't think you could split this evenly into 2 pie tin crusts. There would be way to much filling left over. I've often used a souffle dish (without crust) for the extra filling. Bake till center is almost set...time would depend on how much is in the pan.
      Good luck!

      ~L

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  3. With the cheesecake itself, it it also baked at 325?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the cheesecake is also baked at 325. Enjoy!

      ~L

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  4. Hmmmm...bummer. Just baked mine and did as you said with the pan of water underneath and I still have 2 gigantic cracks :(

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    Replies
    1. Awwww, I'm sorry to hear that! There are several other reasons it could have cracked........if the oven heats unevenly or the cheesecake cools too quickly. You could cut the cake and decorate with some whipped cream and caramel sauce to disguise the crack. The important thing is....how did it taste?

      ~L

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  5. I made this cheese cake just the way the recipe explained and it came out perfect! This was probably the best dessert I have ever made. Thanks for sharing! I will definitely be making this again and again!

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    1. Awesome! I'm so glad that it came out great for you! This is by far one of the most reliable recipes I have....so glad to share it with you!

      ~L

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  6. Can I use a store bought crust to save time?

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    Replies
    1. I've never tried it....but since a store bought crust holds much less then a spring form pan....I would imagine it would fit less then 1/2 of the cheesecake mixture.

      ~L

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  7. Your recipe looks wonderful, Lisa. I will be featuring your post in this week's Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy

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  8. I love cheesecake and I love pumpkin - what else could there be in life - maybe a cup of coffe to go with it.... thank you for sharing at Share It One More Time. Cathy

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  9. I love cheesecake too. Your pumpkin version does sound amazing. Thanks for sharing at #theWeekendSocial. YUM! Please come back Thursday 9:00 PM EST and link up again! theKitchenChopper.com Pinned!

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