Pumpkin Cheesecake

November  5, 2010
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

Like many families, our Thanksgiving holiday is filled with ritual and custom. We tend to prepare the same dishes, often served in a bowl or on a plate that is a sentimental favorite - Grandma's gravy boat, my Mom's crystal bowl for the cranberries. Recipes go back three generations at our table, but I add a new one from time to time. I found a version of this cheesecake in a food magazine about ten years ago. I make it only once every year as the traditional dessert to follow the turkey soup we enjoy on Sunday, marking the end of my favorite holiday. You won't see a photo of it until Thanksgiving weekend, long after the close of this contest. I'm not really superstitious, just "careful". - Lizthechef —Lizthechef

Test Kitchen Notes

I made this for my boyfriend's birthday and, sure enough, Lizthechef's cheesecake did not disappoint! I received many compliments on the dessert and many more requests for the recipe! This not-too-rich cheesecake is easy to assemble and with its spicy gingersnap crust and velvety pumpkin cream cheese filling is an absolute delight to eat. A few tips I have to offer: make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, do not over-beat the batter, remove the cheesecake from the oven when the center is still slightly jiggly (it will firm up in the fridge) and allow it to chill in the refrigerator overnight before serving, or else you may end up with a cracked cheesecake. - gabrielaskitchen —The Editors

  • Prep time 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves 10 to 12
  • For the crust
  • 1 container/box gingersnaps (I like Trader Joe's triple gingersnaps)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon organic brown sugar
  • For the filling
  • 3 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 12 small chunks of crystallized ginger
In This Recipe
  1. For the crust
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Cover the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil.
  4. Using a food processor, pulse cookies into crumbs. You will need about 4 cups of cookies to produce the 2 cups of crumbs needed.
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the crumbs, melted butter and sugar.
  6. Press mixture into bottom of foil-wrapped pan. Don't worry about trying to press the mixture up the sides of the pan.
  7. Bake until crust darkens slightly, 5-10 minutes maximum. Remove from oven but do not turn off the oven.
  1. For the filling
  2. Using a mixer, blend the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, then the pumpkin, vanilla and spices.Mix until smooth, using a hand spatula to finish, insuring that ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Place the pan with the crust on a sheet pan. Carefully pour filling on top of the crust.
  5. Bake cheesecake 60-65 minutes until center is cooked and the edges are somewhat cracked.
  6. Chill uncovered until cold, about 4 hours.
  7. Cut around the sides of the cake and remove pan sides. Decorate top of cheesecake with crystallized ginger. Serve.

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