Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

This one is usually a big hit for the holidays in my family.

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake
(yield: 12-16 servings)

For crust:
1/2 cup finely crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup finely crushed gingersnaps
2 Tablespoons finely chopped pecans
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

For cheesecake:
2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 15-oz can pumpkin
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For topping:
1/2 cup whipping cream
Toasted chopped pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. For crust: Line bottom of springform pan with parchment paper. Combine crushed graham crackers, crushed gingersnaps, the 2 Tablespoons finely chopped pecans, flour, powdered sugar, and melted butter or margarine in a medium bowl. Press evenly onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside. (note: I like to bake it at 375* for 4-5 min to set it. and then let it cool)
  3. Beat cream cheese and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add 3 eggs all at once, beating on low speed just until combined.
  4. Place one cup of cream cheese mixture in a medium bowl. Add pumpkin, the 1 remaining egg, milk, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Beat on low speed just until combined.
  5. Pour pumpkin mixture into the prepared springform pan. Top with cream cheese mixture. With a knife or thin metal spatula, gently swirl through the layers to marble. (note: I cannot stress the "gently" enough, if you accidentally cut through the graham cracker crust it will become soggy during baking.)
  6. Place springform pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake in 350*f oven for 40-45 minutes or until center appears set when shaken.
  7. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen crust from sides of pan by running a knife or thin metal spatula around the edge. Cool 30 minutes more; removes sides of pan. Cool compleatly. Cover; chill at least 4 hours.
  8. For topping: Cool bowl and beaters in fridge for 30min. Before serving beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spoon into mounds atop the cheesecake. Garnish with toasted chopped pecans.

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