Pumpkin pie and cheesecake come together to silky perfection in this seasonal recipe.
Cheesecake is among the most popular desserts in America, and the recipes are legion. Smooth and creamy, cheesecake may be flavored with chocolate or peanut butter, topped with cherries or other fresh fruits, or spiked with liqueurs. There's no doubt about it: cheesecake is versatile and beloved. When fall rolls around and pumpkin is readily available, I’ll set aside the chocolate and put away the amaretto. Pumpkin is a cheesecake’s best friend, adding sensational seasonal flavor and making an already creamy texture silky beyond compare.
The subtle flavor and mellow orange hue is right at home on the holiday table, but as with all cheesecakes, the beauty is often marred by the dreaded crevices that so often appear on the surface. Here are some tips for preventing this beautiful autumnal cheesecake from cracking.
Don’t overbeat. Air in the batter makes cheesecake more likely to crack.
Place a pan of water in the oven while baking. Increased humidity reduces the possibility of cracking.
Cool slowly. Quick temperature changes will cause the cheesecake to shrink (and crack). When the center of the cheesecake is nearly firm, turn off the oven, open the door and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven.
Remove springform while still warm. As the cheesecake shrinks, it may cling to the sides, causing cracking.
A well-made dessert is a treat for the eyes as well as the palate. This recipe for velvety pumpkin cheesecake with a moist and foolproof graham cracker crust fits the bill on both counts.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
- 2 cups graham crackers, crushed
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
- 2 cups pureed pumpkin
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Add graham crackers, butter and 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl and thoroughly combine.
Press graham cracker crust mixture into a 10" springform pan.
Combine cream cheese, pumpkin, 1 cup sugar and brown sugar in mixer; whisk until smooth.
Add eggs one at a time and combine.
Add sour cream, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and vanilla and beat until fully combined.
Spread evenly over graham cracker crust in springform pan.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 70 minutes.
Turn off oven, crack door and let rest in oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from springform pan and allow to cool completely; refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.