GPS Holiday Recipes ~ Pumpkin Cheesecake
Submitted by Karen Taylor at GPS Charleston
This pumpkin cheesecake recipe is easy and has just the right amount of pumpkin flavor. It tastes exactly like a cheesecake that crossed paths with a pumpkin pie – the best of both worlds. This pumpkin cheesecake is delicious by itself but is just over-the-top impressive when you add some of that caramel sauce and rum-infused whipped cream. This is the perfect holiday dessert.
Serving: 8-10 slices
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 12 whole graham crackers)
- 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) melted, unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 3 (8-ounces each) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1½ cups (about 9 oz by weight) packed light brown sugar
- 15 oz can pumpkin pie mix or puree (or well drained homemade puree)
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp real vanilla extract
- 1 cup of cold heavy cream beat with 1 Tbsp sugar and ½ tsp rum or vanilla
- Pumpkin pie spice to dust
- Toasted pecans
- Caramel sauce
How to Make the Crust: Preheat Oven to 350˚F.
- Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs form.
- In a medium bowl, stir together 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs, 1 Tbsp sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon and 6 Tbsp melted butter. Transfer into a 9-inch springform pan with 3″ tall walls and use a large spoon to press crumbs into the bottom of your springform pan, and going about ½” up the sides of the pan. Bake at 350˚F for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temp.
How to make the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling: Preheat Oven to 350˚F.
- In the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the 3 packages of softened cream cheese and 1½ cups brown sugar on med speed until light and fluffy and without lumps (5 min), scraping down the bowl once to make sure you don’t have chunks of cream cheese. Tip: brown sugar is considered “packed” when it holds it’s shape as it comes out of the measuring cup.
- Have a taste of this cream cheese frosting. It would make a super yummy frosting actually! Just don’t eat too much. You need it for your cheesecake.
- In a separate bowl, using a whisk, stir together 15 oz pumpkin puree, 4 large eggs, ¼ cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp flour, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, ¼ tsp salt and 1 Tbsp vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Add this mixture to the cheesecake filling and continue mixing on low speed just until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Transfer filling into pre-baked crust and bake on the middle rack at 350˚F for 1 hour. Turn off heat, prop the oven door open slightly with a wooden spoon and let cheesecake sit in the oven another 45 min. Then remove from the oven and let cool to room temp before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating. Serve when fully chilled (at least 4 hours in the refrigerator, or overnight).
- Before serving, carefully remove cheesecake from springform pan by running a blunt knife along the sides of the cheesecake to release from the springform mold. Add desired toppings (see list above) and serve.
To Make the Whipped Cream:
- Tip: Freeze mixing bowl for 10 minutes to get the best whipped cream results.
- In a cold mixing bowl, add 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream, 1 Tbsp sugar and ½ tsp rum or vanilla. Beat on high speed until fluffy and spreadable. Don’t over-beat or it will turn buttery. It only takes less than 2 min to make fresh whipped cream.
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