Pumpkin Cheesecake

Makes 8 to 10 slices

If you are going to Grandma's house over the holidays, this cheesecake transports very well and by the time you are ready for dessert, it will be at room temperature.
You may make the crust with all ginger snaps for a "snappier" ginger flavor. We like the mix with graham crackers for that old style cheesecake taste.
Use a stencil to decorate the top of the cheesecake. The stencil in the photo above was dusted with cocoa. 

For the Crust:
5 oz. ginger snaps or thins (makes about 1 1/2 cups crumbs)
6 whole graham crackers (makes about 1 cup crumbs)
6 TB unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. ground ginger

For the Filling:
1 lb. cream cheese, room temperature 
1 3/4 cup cooked, mashed sugar pumpkin, canned (15 oz.) or fresh (room temperature if fresh)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. fine grain sea salt (French Grey Sea Salt or Himalayan pink)
3 large eggs, room temperature 
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crust, place ginger snaps and graham crackers in a food processor and pulse to form a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and ground ginger and process until smooth and beginning to gather together. Transfer the mixture to a 10-inch springform pan and press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, transfer to a rack, and cool.

Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

To make the filling, place the cream cheese in the food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the pumpkin and blend until light and smooth. Add the sugar, spices, and salt and pulse to mix well. Add the eggs and vanilla and pulse until smooth and eggs are well blended. Add the sour cream and pulse a few times just until blended. You don't want to over-beat the sour cream or it will thin out the mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and bake for 1 hour and 10-15 minutes or until firm. It will still jiggle slightly in the center when done. Transfer to a rack and cool to room temperature. Chill thoroughly before serving. When ready to serve, remove the sides of the springform pan and cut into slices. Remove the bottom section of the springform pan and place any uneaten slices on a platter or plate to store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Copyright Deirdre Davis 2020
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