November 12, 2012

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake with Ginger Pecan Crust

  • Great dessert for fall and Thanksgiving! It's relatively easy to make and is so much better than the regular old pumpkin pie.
  • Recipe is modified from Taste of Home
  • You will need a spring form pan or I would suggest cutting the recipe in half and using a pie plate if you do not have a spring form.
  • This can easily be made g-free by using g-free ginger snap cookies.
  • You make this ahead of time (needs to refrigerate at least 10 hours) and pull out right before serving so it's perfect for those who like to cook after the kids are in bed like me. :)
  • 1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20 cookies) plus extra for topping (place them in a ziplock bag and crush with a mallet or use a rolling pin to roll back and forth across the bag)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • Topping of choice: caramel syrup, whipped cream (my favorite is to whip 1 c. of heavy whipping cream with 3 tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice...use a chilled mixing bowl and whisk attachment for the best whip).

    1. Wrap a greased springform pan with two layers of foil (you are trying to make the bottom water proof). See notes above if you don't have a springform pan and want to use a pie plate.
    2. In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, pecans and butter. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
    3. For filling, in a large bowl, beat 1 package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in remaining cream cheese, one package at a time until smooth. Add remaining sugar and vanilla. Add 4 eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.
    4. For this next part you will need 2 more bowls (besides the mixing bowl with your plain filling). In bowl #1, place 2 cups of filling and stir in the pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In bowl #2, place 3/4 cup of the pumpkin filling that you just made and set aside. Pour the remaining pumpkin filling in bowl #1 over the crust then top with remaining plain filling left in your mixing bowl. Using a butter knife, swirl the two layers together. Then drop by spoonfuls the rest of the pumpkin filling in bowl #2 by spoonfuls over cheesecake and swirl with the butter knife.
    5. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer and refrigerate overnight. If using the springform pan, keep the cheesecake in the pan until ready to serve. Before serving, top with extra crumbled cookie crumbs and make cinnamon whip cream (see NOTES above).

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