Saturday, November 28, 2009
We had a great Thanksgiving break: lots of good food, great friends (even a short visit with my best friend Karla - all the way from Oklahoma), a weekend of beautiful weather, and we just put our Christmas tree up. Needless to say we have lots to be thankful for!
Back to all that good food. One of the desserts I made for our turkey day feast was pumpkin cheesecake. The recipe is very simple, I got it from http://deestroyer.blogspot.com/2008/11/pumpkin-cheesecake.html (I made a few changes). Even though pumpkin desserts are typically served only during thanksgiving/fall, this was pretty tasty, so you might consider making it for Christmas or other holidays (or regular days)!
2 8oz blocks of cream cheese (I used lower fat neufchatel), softened
3/4 C. Sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 Cup of Pumpkin Puree
1/4 t. Nutmeg
1/4 t. Allspice
3/4 t. Cinnamon
6 Sheet of Graham Crackers or about 3/4 C. of Graham Cracker Crumbs
2 Tablespoons of Melted Butter
1 Tablespoon of Water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For the crust: Put graham crackers in a food processor, pulse to make fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and water, pulse until the crumbs are all wet (alternatively use a fork to combine the crumbs, butter, and water). Press crumbs into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes, set aside to cool.
For the filling: Using a hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Set aside 1/2 cup of the cream cheese mixture. To the remaining cream cheese mixture add the pumpkin, the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, vanilla, and spices.
Cover the outside of the cooled spring form pan in two layers of foil. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the cooled crust. Place dollops of the reserved cream cheese on top of the pumpkin. Use a toothpick or skewer to make a decorative swirly pattern with the pumpkin and cream cheese fillings. Place the pan (on the baking sheet) in the oven. Pour water into the baking sheet until it is at least 1 inch deep (this "water bath" will prevent the top of the cheesecake from cracking as it bakes). Bake cheesecake for about 1 hour, until the middle it quite firm.
Remove the spring form pan from the baking sheet, remove the foil from the pan. Let cool at room temperature for 3 hours. Cover well with plastic wrap, cool in the refrigerator overnight. When you are ready to remove the cheesecake from the pan, run a butter knife or flat spatula around the cheesecake to loosen it from the sides of the pan, then remove the sides of the spring form pan. Slice and enjoy!
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Have a happy holiday season!