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With Thanksgiving around the corner, we thought this might be the perfect time to share an old favorite of ours…a dessert that will have your guests giving thanks to the cheesecake fairy…and you!

This is the ultimate fall version of cheesecake, adapted over the years from two different recipes…one from Once Upon a Chef, and one from Fine Cooking. So gather your supplies and make your plan. You will definitely want this on your menu!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust


The instructions:

For the crust, you will need…
– about 40 Gingersnap wafers (to make 2 cups crumbs)
– 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
– 5 T unsalted butter, melted

The how-to…
Place cookies and sugar in food processor and pulse away til it looks about like this (uniform crumbs). Transfer to a bowl and add melted butter. Combine thoroughly (use your hands…best way to go about this).

Press the mixture into the bottom (and slightly up the sides) of a greased 9-inch springform pan.  Chill for 5 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees. Let cool.

Now for the filling…you will need:
– 1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
– 1 1/3 cups sugar
– 1 t cinnamon
– 1/2 t ground ginger
– 1/4 t ground nutmeg
– 1/4 t ground cloves
– 1/2 t salt
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
– 5 large eggs, room temperature

In a small, heavy saucepan, combine pumpkin sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt…
Bring to a sputter over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to med-low and stir for about 5 minutes until thickened.

Pour into food processor fitted with metal blade, leaving feed tube open…

Process for 1 minute.
With the motor running, stream in the cold cream.
Add cream cheese (cut into chunks) and process for 30 seconds (stopping to scrape down sides if needed)

Add eggs and process for 5 seconds until incorporated (do not overmix!)

Filling complete:

In a tea kettle, bring about 4 quarts water to a simmer for a water bath.

Place springform pan onto 2 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil
Pull foil up sides so that water cannot seep into cake in water bath
Place springform pan into a large roasting pan.

Pour batter into the crust.
Pour boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform
Bake until set, about 1 1/2 hours (if it jiggles, it’s not ready yet!)

Carefully remove roasting pan from oven and set on wire rack.
Carefully loosen cake from sides of pan using a paring knife.
Allow to cool for about 45 minutes.
Remove springform from water bath. Discard foil.
Allow to continue to cool on wire rack for about 3 hours.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Sadie doesn’t really care about formality or presentation…she just wants a taste now!

However…for human purposes, we tend to make it a bit more presentable. Remove outer ring of the springform, then slide a thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen and slide into a serving platter. (Or…leave the cake on the pan bottom and serve as is).

Consider serving with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or a yummy caramel sauce…you can’t go wrong.

Hope your guests (and furry babies) can control themselves!!!