by Karin Calloway
I was first introduced to pumpkin cheesecake while dining in Atlanta in the 1980s. A lover of both pumpkin pie and cheesecake, I was definitely hooked. Cheesecake is not difficult to prepare. All you need is a strong arm or a good mixer to whip together cream cheese, sugar and eggs. Poured into a graham cracker crust, it’s a classic dessert. Cheesecake also is the perfect dessert during the busy holiday season, as it needs to be prepared in, advance, at least one day before serving.
To make a good pumpkin cheesecake, you could simply add some canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices to your regular cheesecake recipe and leave it at that. But my version makes a good thing even better. The crust is made with gingersnaps instead of the usual graham crackers. Toasted pecans and brown sugar are mixed into the crust for extra crunch and flavor. The filling includes both white and brown sugar, along with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.
You could stop there, but why not take this dessert over the top by adding the optional White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing, my adaptation of Shirley O. Corriher’s White Chocolate Icing For Warmer Conditions, along with some Praline Pecans for garnish?
Place cream cheese, 1/2 cup brown sugar and white sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add pumpkin, spices and vanilla to bowl and mix to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. Pour into prepared crust and bake 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature. Refrigerate overnight before serving or icing with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing.
Makes 1 cheesecake.
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
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