Pumpkin pie, meet cheesecake. Cheesecake, meet pumpkin. Nothing screams Thanksgiving more than pumpkin pie. However, I just can't eat that much pumpkin baked inside a pie crust, which is why cheesecake is the perfect pair. Together they form one pie with the best of both worlds. The cream cheese gives the pumpkin a smooth, silky texture that just melts in your mouth. I guaranteed this pumpkin cheesecake will be the creamiest cheesecake you'd ever had. And the turtle topping? Gives an nutty explosion of flavor that contrasts with that smoothness. Don't expect any leftovers. —A Taste of Koko
1 1/4 cups
graham crackers crumbs
unsalted butter, melted
freshly grated nutmeg
package (8oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
Combine butter, granulated sugar, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a bowl. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
Add graham cracker crumbs and toss in the spiced butter mixture.
Transfer the crumbs to the springform pan and press firmly into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. (I used a measuring cup)
Bake until browned at the edges for about 15 minutes at 350F. Set aside and allow to cool. Wrap the outside 9-inch springform pan tightly with two pieces of foil.
Preheat the oven to 325? F and place an oven rack in the lower-middle position.
Combine the sugar, spices and salt in a small bowl; whisk to blend and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and softened, about 1 minute. Add about a third of the sugar-spice mixture to the bowl and beat at medium-low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed and repeat, adding the remaining sugar mixture in two additions.
Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla; beat at medium speed until blended, about 45 seconds.
Add 3 of the eggs and mix on medium-low until incorporated; repeat with the remaining two eggs.
Add the heavy cream and beat at low speed until combined, about 45 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to give the mixture a final stir by hand.
Pour the filling into the springform pan, over the crust. Smooth the top.
Put the springform with the covered bottom into a larger roasting pan. Pour enough simmering water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake until the cake is slightly wobbly when the pan is shaken.
Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.