Like the Pioneer Woman, I don’t like pumpkin pie. And for many years I thought it was because I didn’t like pumpkin. Then I found a version of this recipe and decided that if I was ever going to like pumpkin putting it in cheesecake would be my last hope. So I made it. And I LOVED it! I realized that what I didn’t like was the nutmeg in pumpkin pie, but I’d always associated the two as being part of the same flavor. I learned not only is it important to try new foods, but to also revisit dislikes and give them a second take. I’m so glad I did. I hope you enjoy it!
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers (about 8 crackers)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg white
1 8 oz. block of fat free cream cheese, softened
1 8 oz. block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
3/4 granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ginger
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon Demerara sugar (optional)
I used a food processor to crush my graham crackers. I like them really fine for this crust.
Combine graham crackers, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and egg white in a bowl. Toss with a fork until very well blended.
Press crumb mixture into a 8 or 9 inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. I use a fork and gently pat it until it covers the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
If cream cheeses are not soft, put them in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Using an electric mixer or food processor blend the cream cheeses until smooth.
Add sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, ginger, and pumpkin. Mix until smooth.
Add eggs one at a time. Blend well after each addition.
Pour cheesecake filling mixture into prepared crust.
Bake at 300 degrees for 50 minutes. Turn oven off; partially open oven door. Cool cheesecake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack.
Cover and chill for 8 hours. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar before serving. (If there is condensation on the top of your cheesecake after it chills, blot it gently with a paper towel before sprinkling the Demerara.)
If you don’t have a springform pan, you could make this in a round 8-9 inch baking pan. I know this because I didn’t know what a springform pan was and when I got mine I couldn’t figure out why I needed it. It turns out, I had a defective pan that didn’t come apart at the bottom. So I flipped the cheesecake over on a plate and then back onto a serving dish for many years. It cracked a bit, but I could smooth the cracks out and sprinkle sugar over it. I just bought a set of 3 (working) springform pans at Wal-Mart for $9.94. I think it is a good investment and I’m glad I finally figured it out. This cheesecake has taught me quite a bit….just when I thought it couldn’t get any better!
What’s your favorite cheesecake recipe?