I love this recipe for pumpkin cheesecake. It’s pretty, it’s rich, and it’s always a crowd pleaser. However, I never, ever fix it for Thanksgiving dinner. Why? It’s too rich, that’s why. With all the other goodies I serve at the Thanksgiving Feast (turkey, dressing, my famous make-ahead gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole with the candied pecans around the top, cranberry/strawberry salad, peas, balsamic roasted vegetables, rolls and butter, pecan pie), I would rather have the traditional pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream.
Any other time of the year, I’m game for whipping up the pumpkin cheesecake. I’m a sucker for cheesecakes, anyway. Key lime cheesecakes are probably my favorite, especially the two layer one I often fix in the summer because it’s so doggone refreshing!
The pumpkin swirl cheesecake has my vote as one of the best autumn or winter desserts to serve for a crowd. The servings can be on the small side because they are so rich and it’s easy to get at least 12-15 servings from a large springform pan. It’s a make-ahead dish, so it’s perfect for a busy person to prepare a day or two in advance. Go for it.
By the way, this is a recipe from Philadelphia (AKA Kraft) Cream Cheese.
PUMPKIN SWIRL CHEESECAKE
For the crust:
25 Nabisco Ginger snaps, finely crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans
1/4 c. (half stick) butter, melted
For the filling:
4 – 8oz. pkgs. Cream Cheese, softened
1 c. sugar, divided, 3/4 c. and 1/4c,
1 t. vanilla
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
Oven 325, 300 for a dark pan.
1. Mix ginger snap crumbs, pecans and butter; press firmly onto bottom and 1″ up sides of 9″ springform pan.
2. Beat cream cheese with mixer, adding 3/4 c. sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition, until well blended.
3. Remove 1 1/2 c. plain batter; place in small bowl.
4. Stir remaining 1/4 c. sugar, pumpkin and spices into remaining batter; spoon half of the pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of half of the reserved plain batter. Repeat layers. Cut through batters with knife several times for swirl effect.
5. Bake 55 minutes or until center is almost set. (It will jiggle a little when moved.)
6. Cool completely on rack. Run a knife around the sides but do not remove the sides until the cheesecake has cooled. Then remove the sides and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight before serving. Store leftovers covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for a few days.