We had a meeting for a retreat that we are planning with all the leaders and I wanted to make everyone dinner. Since it was the second day of fall, I decided to put on a big pot of chili and make pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. This cheesecake was so creamy and decadent! I’m not a huge cheesecake lover but I definitely fell in love with this! I think I will be making it to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, it was that good! And while it is a bit involved with having to make the crust and the filling, you can make everything a day or two in advance, making it the perfect dessert to make for a party or holiday. Everyone was raving over it and even Adam, who isn’t a pumpkin lover, has had some every night this past week!
Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake
Source: Food Network
For the Crust:
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
For the Cheesecake Filling:
2 lbs. (4-8 oz. packages) cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 (15 oz.) can pure pumpkin
6 large eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush a 10 inch springform pan* with some of the melted butter (approximately 1 to 2 tbsp.) and coat liberally on the bottom and sides of the pan.
In a small bowl, add the graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and pinch salt and stir to combine. Pour in the remaining melted butter and stir to coat the crumbs until they are all moist.
Press the moistened crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, approximately 1/2 way to 3/4 of the way up the side, packing it down. Bake crust for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Place pan on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Once crust has cooled, wrap the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil. Place the wrapped pan into a large roasting pan.*
Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil.
For the Filling:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add cream cheese and beat until fluffy and smooth. Add in 2 1/2 cups sugar and beat until fully incorporated and fluffy.
Add in the sour cream, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, salt, cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice. Beat together until fully incorporated.
Pour filling into the spring form pan with the graham cracker crust and spread evenly (if using a 9 inch springform pan, remove approximately 1 cup of the filling-see notes below). Springform pan should be set inside the roasting pan.
Carefully place the roasting pan in the oven without pulling the rack out. Very very carefully, pour the boiling water into the roasting pan until the water comes about 1/2 way up the sides of the filled springform pan.
Bake cheesecake for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, until edges of cheesecake have set but the center is loose.
Turn off the oven and open the door for a couple minutes. Leave cheesecake in the oven and close the oven door. Leave cheesecake in for approximately 1 hour. Remove cheesecake from the oven and the roasting pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake (keep it in the springform pan) and then cover the cheesecake pan and refrigerate cheesecake for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Unlock the springform ring and remove from cheesecake. Slice and serve topped with whipped cream, if desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
*I used a 9 inch springform pan, so after I made the filling I poured it into the springform pan and then I took out about 1 cup or so of the cheesecake filling and discarded (pan was filled about 3/4 full) and it worked great.
**I didn’t have a large enough roasting pan, so I used a rimmed baking sheet, I did have one crack in the cheesecake, but it still worked great and no one minded.