Is anyone as excited as I am that it's officially the season to start baking with pumpkin? Well, I am thrilled to finally break into the pumpkin stash that I've been hoarding in the pantry. Ever since we had that pumpkin shortage a few years ago, I've made it a point to keep at least a few cans of pumpkin puree around in case I'm unable to find any for the upcoming year.
Now, some of you might think that cheesecake is a difficult thing to put together. Not so, my friends. This cheesecake was easy peasy and didn't take much prep time at all. The crust mixture was done in less than 5 minutes, and the filling took maybe 10 minutes. The hardest part, actually, was waiting for the cheesecake to bake, rest and cool before digging in. That took well over 6 hours. How does one wait 6 hours before eating a cheesecake?
Amazingly, we had enough self control to wait the full cooling time before we took our first bite of cheesecake. and once again (and not surprisingly), Martha Stewart comes through again. My husband didn't like the cheesecake at first but noted that it got better after each bite (and after each day afterwards since the flavors got to meld better). In the end, he became a fan. The cheesecake itself is a bit softer than what I normally like in a cheesecake, but it is probably the pumpkin puree that causes that.
I'd recommend popping this in the freezer and taking it out at least 30 minutes before serving. You should have a better consistency then so your guests aren't eating mush. Regardless, I am glad I tried this recipe, and it is a contender for this year's Thanksgiving dessert!
For the Crust
- 1 1/4 cups graham-cracker crumbs (from 10 whole crackers)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) bar cream cheese, very soft
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin-pie spice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until you get moist crumbs. Press firmly into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake until the edges turn golden and brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.
To make the filling: Using an electric or hand-held mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth. Gently mix in flour and be careful not to over mix. Slowly add pumpkin puree, pie spice, vanilla, and salt; mix until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the filling into the pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Transfer the pan to the oven and place on the center rack. Immediately reduce the oven heat to 300 degrees F and bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to set in the oven for an additional 2 hours. Do not open the oven!.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours. Serve and enjoy!
Yield: 1 pumpkin pie (about 12-16 slices, or more if you really want some portion control!)
Source: Martha Stewart