Nothing will snap you out of a Thanksgiving food coma quicker than Pumpkin Cheesecake. Well…that may not be true, but there are many other reasons to love this delicious culinary collision of pumpkin pie and creamy cheesecake. It also embodies all that we love about our favorite fall pie, but in a richer, tangier, colder and smoother way. The gingersnap crust adds zip, but if you want to take the flavor to another level try using Trader Joe Triple Ginger Gingersnaps. They contain little flecks of crystallized ginger and make the best gingersnap crust ever. Another bonus is that it serves 10 generously sized wedges, which may or may not be enough to satisfy your cheesecake yearnings.Serves 10
2-1/4 cups ground gingersnap cookies
1-1/2 cups pecans, toasted and ground
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1-1/2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 15oz can solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350°F
9-inch (23 cm) springform pan
In a medium bowl, mix together the gingersnaps, pecans and sugar. Add melted butter and stir until combined. Press crust mixture onto the bottom and 2- inches (5 cm) sides of the pan.
For Filling: In the mixer bowl, using the flat beater on Speed 4, beat cream cheese and sugar until light, about 1 minute, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add pumpkin, cream, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and salt to mixture and beat until well combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined, scraping down the sides of bowl in between each egg.
Line the outside of the springform pan with a double layer of foil that covers up to the top edge of the pan. Set the pan inside the roasting pan and pour filling into crust (filling will almost fill pan). Set the roasting pan in the oven and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the springform. Bake until cheesecake puffs around the edges, and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 1-1/2 hours. Run small sharp knife around cake pan sides to loosen cheesecake. Transfer the entire roasting pan to rack and cool 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the water and continue to cool until room temperature, about 2 hours. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Note: To help prevent the top from cracking, it’s important to loosen the cake sides from the pan immediately after removing from oven. This allows the cake to contract without sticking to the sides which would pull on the top and create cracks.