This is the ultimate pumpkin cheesecake. It has a unique gingersnap crust and rich, luscious swirls of cheesecake and pumpkin. If you want something extra special for the holidays, you have to try this recipe. —Sharon Skildum, Maple Grove, Minnesota
- 1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20 cookies)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened, divided
- 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- Chocolate syrup, caramel ice cream topping, whipped topping and additional crushed gingersnap cookies, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
- In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs, pecans and butter. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
- For filling, in a large bowl, beat 1 package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in remaining cream cheese, one package at a time until smooth. Add remaining sugar and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.
- Place 2 cups filling in a small bowl; stir in pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Remove 3/4 cup pumpkin filling; set aside. Pour remaining pumpkin filling over crust; top with remaining plain filling. Cut through with a knife to swirl. Drop reserved pumpkin filling by spoonfuls over cheesecake; cut through with a knife to swirl.
- Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake 55-65 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
- Garnish with chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, whipped topping and additional crushed gingersnaps if desired. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Deluxe Pumpkin Cheesecake in Thanksgiving Recipe Cards 2009 2009, p65
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