How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Pumpkin pie is a staple to the Thanksgiving day meal, and nothing screams "FALL" more than the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg when the pie is in the oven. This recipe mixes things up a bit. A fusion between pumpkin pie and classic cheesecake, this dense and delicious dessert sure is good. I've added instructions to make cute, individual tarts that cut down on the baking time.

Also, if you want to speed up the process or, if after baking about a million dozen cookies, you feel like being a bit lazy, use a store-bought crust. They work just as well and lighten your holiday workload.

Ingredients for crust

Makes one crust. You'll likely need two if you are not using a springform pan.

  • 1 ½ cups gingersnap cookies, finely ground (can replace with graham crackers)
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt

If you use graham crackers add

  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon (more or less depending on how much you like cinnamon)
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg

Directions for crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit.
  2. Mix all crust ingredients until combined evenly. Add more butter if necessary.
  3. Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch pie dish or springform pan.
  4. Bake until crust is golden around the edges, or about 12-14 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool.

Ingredients for filling

Makes about one pie in springform pan, or about two in standard pie crusts.

  • 4 (8 oz) pkgs. cream cheese, room temp
  • 1¾ cups white sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 (15oz) can pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tbsp. grated orange rind
  • ½ tbsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • Optional chopped pecans, whipped cream, and/or caramel sauce for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 215 degrees farenheit. Place a pan of water on lower rack. (I usually use a casserole dish.)
  2. Beat softened cream cheese on medium until it is smooth and creamy.
  3. Add sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs on low, one at a time.
  5. Add pumpkin, cream, orange rind, lemon rind, and lemon juice. Beat until incorporated.
  6. Add vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Beat until incorporated.
  7. Pour into finished pie crust.
  8. Bake on center rack for 3 to 3.5 hours until the pie is mostly set, the center may be slightly jiggly. Don't forget that the pie will continue to bake after you take it out of the oven.
  9. Turn off oven and crack the oven door while letting the cheesecake cool for about 2 hours. (Or if you can't bear having your oven held hostage for upwards of 5 hours, remove it from the oven to cool on wire rack.) This slow in-oven cooling helps the cheesecake to not crack and to impress friends. If it does crack, no worries. It will still taste delicious.
  10. After it has cooled, add your garnish.
  11. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator overnight and serve chilled. (I prefer the chilled version.)

To avoid the long baking times, the mess of getting the pie out of the pan, or the hassle of cutting slices, consider turning these into small tarts.

To do so, line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners, press crust into bottom and bake according to directions. Add the pie filling and bake for 1-2 hours or until the center is just barely jiggly (timing depends on how thick you make the tarts). Allow to cool the same way, add your garnish, and serve.