2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pure pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
(I used a store bought graham cracker crust)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cups finely ground ginger cookies, homemade or store bought
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
4 - 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
When making cheesecakes make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature so they blend together to create a smooth texture. Cold cheese is harder to beat and you can end up with graininess. Judging when a cheesecake is fully baked always presents a challenge. They are very deceptive as they do need to be removed from the oven when the center is still wobbly and wet looking. Cracking can also be a problem. As a cheesecake bakes its moisture evaporates. If too much moisture is lost (when overcooked), or if it evaporates too quickly (oven temperature too hot) cracking will occur. So be sure to follow your recipe's instructions. Also, to prevent cracking, shortly after you remove the cheesecake from the oven, run a sharp knife around the inside edge of the cheesecake. Once the cheesecake has completely cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. This allows the cake to set, flavors to meld, and produces a creamier texture. You can use canned pure pumpkin in this recipe or make your own pumpkin puree. Fortunately there are excellent brands of canned pumpkin on the market which match the quality of homemade. But if you want to make your own puree, use the smaller pumpkin varieties like Sugar Pie, Baby Bear or Cheese Pumpkin (approximately 5-7 lbs., 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 kg.).
To make the puree, cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, remove seeds and stringy fibers, and place cut-side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) for approximately 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours (depending on size) or until easily pierced with a knife. Scoop out the pulp and puree in a food processor until smooth. Can strain through cheesecloth to extract all the liquid. Cool before using.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick spray) an 8 inch spring form pan.
For Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, finely ground ginger snap cookies, sugar, and melted butter. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared spring form pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the cheesecake filling.
For Cheesecake: In a separate bowl, stir to combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), on low speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth (about 2 minutes). Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until creamy and smooth (1 to 2 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Pour the filling over the chilled ginger crust and place the spring form pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Place a cake pan, filled halfway with hot water, on the bottom shelf of your oven to moisten the air. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and continue to bake the cheesecake for another 10 - 20 minutes, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center is still wet and jiggles when you gently shake the pan. Meanwhile whisk together the sour cream, vanilla extract and sugar. Pour the sour cream mixture over the top of the baked cheesecake and rotate the pan slightly to evenly distribute the topping. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake about 8 minutes to set the topping. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Loosen the cake from the pan by running a sharp knife around the inside edge (this will help prevent the cake from cracking). Then place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan so the cheesecake will cool slowly. When completely cooled, cover and refrigerate at least eight hours, preferably overnight, before serving. Serves 10-12 people.
I wish I had a picture of this but I made this recipe away ago. It is defiantly worth making and was a huge hit.