Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Gingerbread Crust

This has to be one of my absolute favorite recipes for fall. I have been making it for years but it seems that whenever the autumn season hits I can not pump out enough of these cheesecakes for my friends and family. Your loved ones will rave over this fabulous recipe. Garnish it with some freshly whipped cream and a sprinkling of cookie crumbs and I assure you it will be a major success... Enjoy! 

Ingredients for the crust:
12 oz. Gingerbread men 
1 cup pecans
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350

Lightly spray a 12 inch springform pan with cooking spray and set aside.

 Place the gingerbread men and the pecans in a food processor and grind until they form coarse crumbs.  

Place in a bowl and slowly add the butter while mixing with your hands ( As soon as you can pack the mixture without it falling apart, it is ready )

Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.  

Bake for 15 minutes then  place in the refrigerator until cool.

Ingredients for the filling:
2 lbs cream cheese ( softened )
1 cup light brown sugar
6 eggs (Farm fresh is best!)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup flour (All purpose, I prefer unbleached, sifted ) 
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla (the real stuff!)
2 cups pumpkin puree

Place the cream cheese in a kitchen aide using the paddle and blend until smooth.

 Add the sugar and blend until smooth; scrape down sides of bowl.  

one at a time, add the eggs making sure they are thoroughly blended before adding another then slowly pour in the heavy cream, flour, cinnamon, five spice and salt one at a time blending after each ingredient.

  Add the vanilla and pumpkin then blend completely, scraping down the sides and making sure there are no lumps.  

Spray the pan, with the pre-baked crust, again with cooking spray.  

Pour the mixture (it will be pretty liquid) into the pan and place in the middle of the preheated oven.  Bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes, checking frequently after 1 hour.

 The cake is finished when it is browning around the edges and top, and is mostly set; the center might still be slightly wobbly. 

 Remove from the oven and carefully cut around the edges of the cake with a very sharp knife ( this will prevent the cake from cracking as it cools )  

Allow to cool completely ( roughly 6 hours or overnight )

Garnish with some whipped cream and serve along side a nice cup of hot cocoa and a good book. Enjoy everyone and happy Autumnal equinox everyone! 

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