Thanksgiving prep – Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin pie seems to be a staple at every Thanksgiving gathering. I am not a huge fan of pumpkins (or pumpkin pie). In my world pumpkins are good for carving faces into, and/or ending up as centerpieces.

That said, I have spent the last week or so finding and comparing pumpkin cheesecake recipes.The recipes that called for hot water baths during cooking, six eggs, pounds of pumpkin and unique egg-separation methods all got ditched.I wanted a simple cheesecake recipe, not a complex dish that would dirty every mixing bowl in the house.

I finally settled on a recipe for Sweet Potato Cheesecake. The following internal dialogue ensued:

Sweet Potato Cheesecake?

Yes.

But I thought you were reading pumpkin cheesecake recipes.

I was.

Then why sweet potato?

Why not? They’re both orange, and canned pumpkin looks awfully similar to canned sweet potato.

Hmmmm.

So armed with a recipe for Sweet Potato Cheesecake, I did a very simple substitution: I replaced the sweet potatoes with canned pumpkin. Ta da! Pumpkin cheesecake!

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The crust was probably the most fun part to make: I got to play with my the food processor attachment for our blender. It’s like having power tools in the kitchen, and it got my cookie crumbs and pecans to a fairly unified size. I did them in three batches, two cookie crumbs and one cookie crumbs and pecans. The crumbs tasted fantastic, and I got to use the big blade and the “food process” setting.

The cheesecake part was also fairly simple to make. The creamcheese was mostly softened and I cubed it before I put it into the mixing bowl. After it was throughly creamed, I scraped the sides down and creamed it some more. Then the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides regularly. Then I added the rest of the stuff, and scraped down the sides again. Noticing a trend here? Scrape down the sides regularly.

I was a little worried that the pumpkin might be overpowering, but the batter tasted sweet, somewhat like a spice bread with a slight hint of pumpkin. Quite good.

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I triple checked the oven temperature (it’s not paranoia I’m cautious), I am so glad we have an oven thermometer, it’s made such a difference. The oven was at exactly 325*F, and it managed to stay that way for the duration. I let the cheesecake cool off in the oven for about an hour or so, topped if off, and it’s now in the fridge.After it chills for a bit longer it’s going to the freezer to sit until Thanksgiving.


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