Day 283 - Pumpkin Cheesecake

283/365 (Oct 10, 2011) – Ahhhh Thanksgiving….it’s the one holiday that really is so much about food. Comfort food. Turkey (or ham, or goose), root vegetables, pumpkin pie. Or, in our case a twist on the traditional – pumpkin cheesecake instead.

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Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake (sort of a combination of a couple of different recipes)

Crust:

2/3 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons cold butter, in bits

Buzz that in a food processor until blended and then press gently into the bottom of a 7 inch springform pan and bake at 350F for about 20 minutes. Cool completely before filling.

Filling:

1 lb cream cheese (2 x 8oz packages), at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
8 ounce can solid pack pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

Kettle of hot water

Beat the cream cheese until smooth (I use a food processor, makes it a bit smoother and goes faster). In a separate bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and brown sugar. Add this mixture to the cream cheese and blend well. Scrape down the sides and bottom to make sure it all gets well mixed in. Blend in the eggs one at a time making sure each is incorporated before adding the next. Blend in the vanilla and the pumpkin.

Scrape the batter into the cooled crust. Wrap the base and sides of the pan in tinfoil and place it into a larger roasting pan. Add enough hot water to come up about ? to ½ of the height of the cheesecake pan. Place on the middle rack of an oven at 350F and bake until the top of the cheesecake looks deep golden and burnished (about 1 hour and 30 minutes or so). The cake will jiggle a bit when tapped. When the cake is done. turn off the heat and crack the door open with an oven mitt or something, so it cools slowly. After about an hour remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature before placing in the fridge. Allow to chill overnight for best results.