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Pumpkin Cheesecake! September 25, 2009

Filed under: Baking,cake — Vanessita! @ 11:17 am
Tags: , ,

Earlier this week I posted about my experience in making my own pumpkin puree (thanks to the crazy canned pumpkin shortage!).

I took some time last night to finally make the pumpkin cheesecake I’d been craving for weeks, and boy- was it worth the wait!! 🙂

I had originally planned on making a recipe from my latest copycat cookbook, but the recipe called for sour cream which I didn’t have on hand (and I found that just a little strange).  So instead I referred back to a site I had bookmarked and made this deliciously creamy and tasty cheesecake!


I did make a few modifications- including using a different crust recipe, my changes will be red.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Originally From Gourmet (2003), posted on Epicurious.

For Crust (Not Included in the linked recipe)

  • 2 cups of Graham Cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon of ground Cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons of melted butter

For Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin I used the homemade puree I made earlier this week.
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla I added just a tiny bit more 🙂
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (optional) I omitted.
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon**
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg**
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger**
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

**Instead of putting in all these different spices, I just put in 1 1/2 tablespoons of Pumpkin Spice (which I bought earlier this week).

Make crust:

Stir together crumbs, cinnamon and melted butter.  It should have a crumbly not pasty texture.  Pour the mixture into your springform pan and spread/press to create a layer of crumbs on the bottom and 1″ to 1 1/2″ crust on the sides of the pan.

Set aside. I chilled mine while I worked on the cake ingredients

Make filling and bake cheesecake:
Put oven rack in middle position and Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl until combined.

Stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.

Pour filling into crust, smoothing top, then put springform pan in a shallow baking pan (in case springform leaks). Bake until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.


  • I filled an 8″ cake pan with water and put it on the bottom rack of the oven.  This helps keep the oven moist and will help prevent cracks in your cheesecake.
  • My cheesecake took about 55 minutes to bake through.
  • Let your cheesecake sit in the springform pan until it is FULLY cooled.  I took an angled spatula and separated the sides of the cake from the pan while it was cooling.  I left my cheesecake out for about 2 hours- you don’t want to put it into the fridge too soon or else cracks may form.
  • Recipes with cornstarch tend to create less/no cracks- the cornstarch helps keep all the ingredients together and fills any holes of air created by the eggs.
  • Speaking of eggs: DON’T OVERMIX THEM!!!  The more you mix your eggs, the more air you are bringing into your batter.  The less air the less chance of cracks forming.
  • Once the cake is cooled cover it in saran wrap and refrigerate.  Because I wasn’t serving mine right away I kept it in the springform pan and covered the entire thing.  Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

So there you have it!!!
This was the first cheesecake I’ve ever made and the experience went really well.  I brought in the cake for my co-workers and it was gone within MINUTES!!  Everyone loved the cake.  I topped it with some cool whip and chopped pecans- it was a hit. 🙂


The Great Pumpkin Search 2009 September 23, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Fall Foods — Vanessita! @ 10:40 am
Tags: , ,

Well, yesterday was the first official day of Fall.  HOORAY!!!!  It’s my favorite season and I’ve been itching to start making fall-inspired goodies.   BUT who would have ever guessed that there would be a canned pumpkin shortage?  Especially so early in the year- I mean it’s only September, we’re no where near Thanksgiving yet!!


Recently on the What’s Cooking board the talk of pumpkin has skyrocketed.  Lots of girls have started making yummy pumpkin treats and it got me in the pumpkin mood!!!  I’ve been meaning to make a cheesecake (for forever now!!!) and figured why not make a pumpkin cheesecake?!  After looking over the ingredients I knew I needed at least one can of pumpkin puree and that’s when the search began.

I searched 4 different grocery stores and came out empty handed, but I didn’t let that stop me.  I decided I wouldn’t be defeated that easily and figured I’d just make it myself.
With a little help from the Pioneer Woman, I was able to roast 2 pie pumpkins and get a very nice amount of pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin Cheesecake- get ready! ‘Cause here I come!!!

Pumpkin Puree
(I used 2 pumpkins to be sure I got enough for my cheesecake(s).)

First: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Slice the tops of each pumpkin (toss or set aside)
Pumpkin2Then cut each pumpkin in half, then cut each of those pieces in half, leaving you with quarters
I then used my ice-cream scoop to scrape out the seeds and stringy mess from inside the pumpkins.  I saved the seeds though!!! I plan on roasting those tonight!!

Pumpkin4Once you’ve cleaned out the insides of the pumpkins, set them on a baking pan- skin down/pumpkin meat up.
Pumpkin3Put them in the center rack and let them roast for 45 minutes or fork tender (It took me about 55 minutes)
Once they were done I removed them from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes, but I did notice that the longer they sat, the harder it was to get the skin off.
Once they’re cool enough to handle, start peeling off the skins.  Make sure to get as MUCH meat as you can- you don’t want to waste any 😉
Now just take the chunks of peeled pumpkin and put them into the food processor.  I did this in 3 batches.
I didn’t use my pumpkin puree right away so I put it in an airtight container and set it inside my fridge.  I’ll be using it later this week 🙂

So thats it!!!! Super simple, very very easy!!!
One tip: If you think your pumpkin is too wet/liquidy feel free to strain it using a cheesecloth of a very fine mesh strainer.   If on the other end- it’s too dry, add a few tablespoons of water until you reach the right consistency.