Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust




Enjoy a festive finish to your holiday with this creamy take on pumpkin pie :) Be sure to use canned pumpkin pie mix (which already contains sugar) and not canned pure pumpkin. A 29-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix yields enough for two cheesecakes. Eat one and freeze one for later.


Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Servings : 12

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs, finely ground (about 30 small cookies from a 16-ounce box)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Three 8-ounce packages regular or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin pie mix (half of a 29-ounce can)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Optional:
For a sweeter cheesecake, add an additional 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions:

step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with baking rack on lowest level.

step 2 Mix cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar together with a fork in medium bowl until crumbs hold together. Press crumb mixture firmly into the bottom and 1 to 2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch round tinplate or steel (not nonstick) springform pan. Bake 6 to 8 minutes until crust is set. Cool and set aside.

step 3 Add softened cream cheese to large bowl and beat on high speed with hand mixer, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. There should be no lumps.

step 4 Add additional sugar (if desired), pumpkin pie mix and pumpkin pie spice. Blend well with mixer on medium speed, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. With mixer still on medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one. With mixer on low, add cornstarch until just blended. Pour batter into prepared springform pan.

step 5 Bake in oven until edges are cooked and center jiggles slightly when side of pan is tapped, about 50 to 60 minutes. Do not overcook or cheesecake will crack (but it will still taste great).

step 6 Cool completely on cooling rack, about 2 hours. Cover top of springform pan with Saran™ Premium Wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Cheesecake will keep in refrigerator for up to 3 days. If freezing, cover top of pan with Saran™ Premium Wrap and freeze overnight. It will keep in freezer for up to 1 week. Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Keep chilled until serving.


notes:

Springform pans are inexpensive, round baking pans with a clamp. The clamp allows you to remove the side and bottom so that you can easily take a cake or torte out of the pan. Traditional tinplate or steel springform pans are best for cheesecakes. Nonstick pans cause the cake to cook too fast and possibly burn.

variations:

You can substitute 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg for pumpkin pie spice, which can be found in the spice section of your supermarket.

For ginger lovers who enjoy some extra spice, garnish the cheesecake with slivers of candied ginger or lightly sprinkle it with a combination of ground ginger and pumpkin pie spice mix.



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