Brown Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


For the bottom crust --

18  honey graham crackers crushed finely (two packs)

6    tablespoons sugar

1    teaspoon ginger

1    teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

12  tablespoons (1 & 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter


1/2 cup dark brown sugar


Mix the spices thoroughly with the crushed graham crackers.  Melt the butter, pour over top and mix.  Press into the bottom of an 11x18 inch baking pan.  Sprinkle the brown sugar across the graham cracker mixture in the pan.


Bake 8-10 minutes at 325 degrees.



For the cheesecake --


In a bowl, mix together


1       tablespoon flour

1 1/3 cups sugar

1       teaspoon cinnamon

1/2    teaspoon ginger

1/4    teaspoon nutmeg

1/4    teaspoon cloves

1/4    teaspoon allspice

1/2    teaspoon salt



3  8 ounce packages of cream cheese (at room temperature)

5  eggs (at room temperature)

1  small can (14.5 ounces) pumpkin

1  tablespoon vanilla extract

1  tablespoon lemon juice

1  cup whipping (heavy) cream (not whipped)


1/2  cup dark brown sugar


Beat the cream cheese.  Slowly add the spice mixture and beat until well blended.  Add the pumpkin, the vanilla and the lemon.  Beat in one egg at a time.  Add the cream and mix well.


Pour cream cheese mixture on top of the pre-baked bottom.


Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of brown sugar across the top of the cream cheese mixture.  Use a knife to swirl it into the cheesecake mixture, taking care not to disturb the graham cracker crust on the bottom.  


Bake 50 - 60 minutes at 350 degrees.

Pumpkin Cheesecake


Last Thanksgiving, I made Cook's Illustrated's Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake for Thanksgiving dinner and it was delicious.  I highly recommend their recipe.  The memory of that delicious cheesecake lingered when I promised to bring Pumpkin Cheesecake to a reading and signing of The Diva Runs Out of Thyme at Quail Ridge Books.  But I was faced with some problems.  I needed to feed more people and they wouldn't be sitting at tables, they would be grazing and eating off of paper plates.  Plus, there was the issue of transporting the cheesecakes.  The two Pumpkin Cheesecake recipes were inspired by Cook's recipe.  If you are watching your fat intake, you can omit the cup of whipping cream, but the resulting texture isn't quite as creamy.  


If you need to leave the cheesecake at the destination, you can bake it in a disposable 8x11 baking pan.  However, the sides of the disposable pans are somewhat weak.  Handle with care when baking and expect the top to crack.  Don't worry, it will still look and taste great!