Perfectly Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake
I’m not the biggest pumpkin pie fan. As a kid, I remember being confused as to why people could like such a thing as this. The texture was soft, almost mushy. And when the color teetered somewhere between green and brown…well, that was just plain unappetizing for me. I learned early on that come Thanksgiving day, I should grab a piece of crunchy, gooey pecan pie instead.
Now that I have a few more years of experience in eating, I’ve come to know that there are some noteworthy pumpkin pies out there. And I won’t turn down a slice from one of those. But before I was enlightened, when I had my first kitchen in college, I aimed to come up with an alternative pumpkin something to stand in for pumpkin pie. So I turned to cheesecake. How could I go wrong with cheesecake?!
I went through a series of very simple no-bake cheesecakes in pre-made graham cracker crusts. And they were good. But somewhere between marriage and children, I started experimenting with the real thing. I bought a springform pan and I’ve never looked back.
I’ve been tinkering with this particular pumpkin cheesecake recipe for the past two years. I’ve taken it to Thanksgiving dinner each of those years, to rave review. So I was pretty darn confident when I offered to make this for a get together last weekend with friends. And then my balloon started a slow leak as I watched the hostess struggle with removing piece after piece of my pumpkin cheesecake from the bottom of the springform pan. Ohhhhh well, I’ve eaten many a piece of lopsided pie in my life, I reassured myself. Then I took a bite. And the balloon deflated further. As in, the squealing and sputtering, out of control balloon flying all over the place kind of deflation. I was sickened, really. This was NOT what I remembered. The crust was soft and kinda greasy. And the cheesecake filling had an off texture and taste. Where did I go wrong?!?!
So…when I got home from work on Monday night, I made it again. Yep, I’m some kind of crazy like that. For the crust, I decreased the butter, added a bit of salt, and prebaked it this time. Most of my recipes are altered in some way and have quite a few notes written on them. Rather uncharacteristically, my pumpkin cheesecake recipe didn’t have any notes as to the kind of cream cheese I’ve used in the past. And I had used low fat cream cheese (it’s what I had on hand) in the previous weekend’s failure, so I was pretty sure I needed to up the fat content of my filling. I took the cheesecake out of the oven after kissing the girls goodnight, let it cool on the counter, and then tucked it into the fridge, assuring it that I would be back at breakfast time.
The next morning, I found some Reddi Wip in the back of the fridge, and then tenderly carried my cheesecake to the counter. It was time for breakfast, and for the moment of truth.
I was happy, so very happy, as I sliced and removed the first piece. It came out beautifully, with a crisp, clean cut. Then I took a bite. And, by golly, this was it! The gingersnap crust was crunchy, and just buttery enough, with a lovely hint of saltiness. And the filling was all that I remembered loving this pumpkin cheesecake for. It was thick, creamy, and loaded with yummy pumpkin pie spices. It was perfectly perfect. And everyone who had a piece at work that day would agree. They didn’t mind one little bit that I’m some kind of crazy.
Ahhhhhh…all is right in my pumpkin cheesecake world again.
Perfectly Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake
Cook Time:1 hour 40 minutes
for the crust:
- 1-3/4 c. gingersnap cookie crumbs, from about 40 gingersnap wafers
- 3 T. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 T. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled down
for the filling:
- 3 8-ounce packages regular cream cheese (not low fat or nonfat), at room temperature
- 1 15-ounce can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 c. sour cream
- 1-1/2 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 T. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. vanilla
I linked up with Cheryl over at Tidy Mom for I’m Lovin’ It Fridays. And she featured my cheesecake in her weekly Wrap Up! Check it out here!
We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. See our disclosure policy for more info.