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Pumpkin Cheesecake

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© 2010 Helana Brigman
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An orange-hued cheesecake breaks all of the rules: dominated less by the cheese, and more by the pumpkiny texture and shades that color the batter, a pumpkin cheesecake is a bold statement.  It says, “I’ll take your cheesecake and raise you one.  Raise you in flavor, seasonal spices, and make it so good, the Golden Girls would even eat it during one of their 3:00 a.m. late night chats.”  This richly decadent pumpkin cheesecake is just that kind of statement.  It says I’m daring, I’m ballsy, and I like my cheesecake.

The photographed cheesecake is ballsy and delicious and was made for one John Edgar Browning’s thirtieth birthday this past weekend.  Although it went over famously, I must warn readers about the kind of commitment such a culinary feat demands, especially for a dinner party.

Making a cheesecake for a dinner party really is quite a task.  You must do it right (the first time), attempt to avoid those pesky “cracks” that can show up in the final product, and allow 24 hours of refrigeration so that your cheesecake has the right presentation, temperature, and flavor the day it is served.  These cautionary notes being stated, this is the kind of recipe the most daring, experienced, and bold foodies should attempt.  If you are new to cooking in the kitchen, or baking desserts, then perhaps save this recipe for a few months down the road when you know you’ll be able to juggle the various stages and weird temperature requirements of baking an authentic cheesecake.

For those of you bold, fall-loving foodies who go more by “Bond.  James Bond,” then try this demanding, but ever-so rewarding “Cheesecake.  Pumpkin Cheesecake.”

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This recipe comes from Elise Bauer over at Simply Recipes.  The original can be found here.  Although my version below is pretty much identical to Elise’s, I’ve added 1 tablespoon corn starch to help prevent the cheesecake from cracking and upped some of the spices by 1/4 teaspoon.



* 1 cup pecans

* 1/2 cup flour

* 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

* 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 4 crackers crumbled)

* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

* 1 egg yolk

–Pumpkin Filling–

* 4 8-oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature

* 2 cups brown sugar

* 5 large eggs, beaten

* 3 tablespoons all purpose flour

* 1 tablespoon corn starch

* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

* 1/2 teaspoon allspice

* 1/2 teaspoon ginger

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

* 2 15-oz cans pumpkin puree

* 2 tablespoons bourbon, whiskey, or amaretto

1.) Preheat oven to 375F.  Begin by assembling the crust: in a food processor, add graham crackers, butter, egg yolk, brown sugar, flour, and pecans.  Pulse to combine until crust sticks to the sides of the processor.

2.) Add crust to a 9-inch springform pan.

3.) Press crust into pan to distribute evenly.

4.) Bake in oven for 10 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Reduce oven heat to 325F.

5.) Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkin and cream cheese filling: whisk together dry ingredients: flour, salt, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.  Using a wooden spoon, mix in bourbon, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract.  Mix until fully integrated.  Beat in the eggs.

6.) Using a kitchenaid mixer (or other standing mixer), add cream cheese and brown sugar.  Mix until fully integrated and there are no lumps (this step may take several minutes and require a persistent scraping of the bowl to evenly mix sugars into cream cheese).

7.) Gently mix pumpkin mixture into cream cheese mixture until cream cheese and pumpkin mixtures are fully integrated.

8.) Bring a kettle of hot water to a boil for the hot water bath.  Meanwhile, take two large pieces of aluminum foil and wrap the outside of the spring-form pan so that the bottom is completely covered and no water might seep into your cheesecake during the cooking process.

9.) Pour pumpkin cheese batter into pan with crust.  Now, pour boiling water into a roasting pan (about halfway full).  Gently, place spring-form pan and pumpkin cheesecake mixture into hot water both so that water goes up the sides of the pan.

10.) Bake in oven for 1 and 1/2 hours (90 minutes) at 325F.  Turn oven off and prop open oven door.   Allow cheesecake to sit in oven for one hour.  Remove cheesecake from oven and allow to sit until it reaches room temperature.  Place cheesecake in refrigerater and allow to chill for several hours before serving (24 hours is best).  Serve with drizzled honey and walnuts.  Enjoy! Makes 12 servings.


Pumpkin Cheesecake, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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  1. […] recipe for Pumpkin Cheese Cake dressed in warm honey, walnuts, and a pecan graham cracker crust.  Talk about Clearly […]

  2. […] recipe for Pumpkin Cheese Cake dressed in warm honey, walnuts, and a pecan graham cracker crust.  Talk about Clearly […]

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