This.....this is the stuff dreams are made of. Really good dreams.
For not including chocolate, it's one of the best cheesecakes out there. Shoot, it might even beat some of the chocolates. And that's saying something.
It's just the right balance of creaminess and substance......sweetness with the spice of the gingersnap crust, and topped with fresh cinnamon whipped cream and Sugar-Coated Pecans, it's sure to please even the harshest of critics, the non-pumpkin eater.
Note: The recipe called for using a water bath, which can prevent cracks in your cheesecake. The last time I tried one, water leaked into my cheesecake and made the crust a bit soggy, which made me very unhappy. This time, I opted not to take that chance and as a result, mine did have cracks, rather substantial ones at that.....and that made me unhappy too. But probably not as unhappy as a soggy crust would have. So you decide.
If you want to try a water bath, basically you boil some water in a tea kettle while you're making your filling.
Wrap the sides and bottom of your springform pan tightly with heavy-duty foil (before filling pan). Place the filled pan in a small roasting pan. Pour hot water from the tea kettle into the roasting pan, filing halfway up the sides of the springform pam, about 1-1/2 inches.
Recipe (from Food Network)
1-1/2 c. gingersnap cookie crumbs (crush in blender or food processor)
6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1-3/4 c. sugar
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
5 large eggs
1-1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. salt
1 T. vanilla extract
2 T. all-purpose flour
Cinnamon whipped cream for serving (recipe follows)
Sugar-Coated Pecans for serving, if desired
Caramel sauce for serving, if desired
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine gingersnap cookie crumbs with melted butter and stir until evenly mixed. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch sides. Bake the crust until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool while preparing the filling.
In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the pumpkin and beat until incorporated. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and vanilla and beat until blended. Add the flour and beat until incorporated.
Pour the filling into the crust. Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, which could take from 60-80 minutes. Start checking around the hour mark. Mine was done then. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, use a paring knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Chill the cheesecake for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with Cinnamon Whipped Cream.
Cinnamon Whipped Cream (for serving)
1 c. heavy cream, chilled
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. ground cinnamon
Pour the heavy cream into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until thick and frothy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and beat until medium peaks form.
Yield: 1-1/2 to 2 cups