Within my circle of friends and family I’m somewhat known for my cheesecakes. I’ve got a ton of different scrumptious variations and people ask for them often! Key Lime, Chocolate, Peppermint, Caramel Irish Cream, Turtle, Peanut Butter, Regular, among many others and one of my favorites is my Pumpkin Cheesecake! Most every Thanksgiving I whip one of these gems up and I look forward to it all year! It’s a different twist on the standard pumpkin pie, but it will draw raves! Try is and see.
What You’ll Need for the Crust:
2 1/2 cups of gingersnap cookies
1/4 cup of sugar 1 stick of butter, melted
Add ginger snap cookies and process them in the food processor until smooth. (Note: If you don’t have a food processor then place them in a plastic bag and have fun smashing them! ;o)
Process in sugar and melted butter until a crumbly mixture forms.
Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Wrap the outside of the pan with aluminum foil to the very edges of the pan, without covering the opening. Set aside.
What You’ll Need for the Filling:
3 – 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 – 15 ounce can of mashed pumpkin
1 cup of ricotta cheese (Note: You can use the whole milk, part skim or fat free version.)
1 cup of natural brown sugar
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325 F. (Note: This is very important when baking a cheesecake! The oven must be preheated! Do NOT skip this step!!)
Put a pot or kettle on to boil with enough water to cover 1/2-3/4 of the cheesecake pan with water.
Cream together cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, ricotta and eggs until well blended.
Mix in pumpkin pie spice and flour until just blended.
Pour into prepared crust.
Place cheesecake pan into a baking dish. Pour hot water into the dish or pan being careful not to get any water on or in the cake itself. The water depth should be at least 1/2 the way up the side of the spring form pan, but no more than 3/4ths of the way up the side.
Bake for 1 hour.
Turn oven off and open oven door to the broil position and let the cake sit unmoved for 1 more hour.
After the cheesecake sits for 1 hour carefully remove from the oven and take out of its water bath. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Notes: The water bath helps the cheesecake top to not split as much. If you’re making this on a cold day (like today for example), you might have trouble getting the cream cheese to cream completely smooth. Don’t worry about this as it will not affect the taste of the cheesecake. You can also use graham cracker crumbs instead of gingersnaps, though I think the gingersnaps give it that extra omph. If you want you can decorate the top of the cheesecake with seasonal shaped cookies (such as leaves, acorns, pumpkins, etc.) and I recommend serving it with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top.