We just had Thanksgiving dinner and I cant think of a more deserving dessert to cap off an exquisite meal. I love this recipe I got it from the Joy Of Baking site and the original recipe can be found here. The great thing about doing a cheesecake for Thanksgiving is you can (and should) make it a day ahead of time, one less thing to worry about on the day of.
This cheesecake comes out with such a light,smooth fluffy texture. It is not a dense or a heavy cheesecake it seems to strike a balance in between the two; heavy and light, and I like that. It also has a sour cream topper that is vanilla flavored and it pairs so well with the bit of snap that the ginger cookies have in the crust. The pumpkin flavor, while noticable has a subtle flavor.
1 cup (100 grams) graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (50 grams) finely ground ginger cookies homemade or store bought (I used Mr Christies)
1 tbsp (15 grams) granulated white sugar
4 - 5 tbsp (56-60 grams unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup (145 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cloves ( I just use a pinch I find cloves can overwhelm)
1/8 tsp nutmeg (I use a pinch as well)
1/4 tsp salt
1 pound (454 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature ( I use light)
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (210 grams) pure pumpkin puree
1 cup (240 ml) sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1.) Preheat oven to 350F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter or spray a non stick 8" springform pan (all I had was a 9" and it works fine). I like to line the bottom of my springform with parchment to when I cut into it I don't scratch the pan.
2.) For the crust: mix the graham cracker crumbs, finely ground gingersnaps,sugar and melted butter. Then press into the bottom of your springform pan and then refrigerate while you make the cheesecake.
3.) For the cheesecake: In a seperate bowl stir to combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt.
4.) In the bowl of your mixer and with a hand mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth (about 2 minutes). Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until creamy and smooth ( 1-2 min). Add the eggs one at a time beating well (about 30 sec) until adding the next one a scraping down the bowl in between eggs. Beat in the vanilla and the pumpkin.
5.) Pour the filling into the chilled crust and then put the sringform on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Place a cake pan filled halfway with hot water on the bottom rack of your oven to moisten the air. Bake the cheesecake for 30 min and then reduce the oven temperature to 325F and continue to bake for another 10- 20 min, or until the edges are puffed and the center is still wet and jiggles when you gently shake the pan.
6.) Meanwhile mix the sour cream, vanilla ext and sugar. Pour the sour cream mixture on top of the baked cheesecake and swirl gently to coat the top. Put it back in the oven for 8 min to set the topper. Remove from the oven and put on a wire rack to cook. Run a sharp knife around the edge to loosen to the cake and the put a piece of aluminum foil over the top so that it cools slowly.
7.) When completely cool cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hrs but preferably overnight
Serves 10-12 (could easily serve 16 with smaller pieces)