Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

2 Nov

With the holidays around the corner, it’s time to bring out the pumpkin-inspired goodies. This recipe makes a creamy pumpkin cheesecake in a 9-inch springform pan (about 12 servings). It calls for 3 standard 8-ounce packages of cream cheese. I used tubs, rather than blocks, of Kraft low-fat cream cheese – this was easier to whip up by hand, since I don’t have a mixer!

IMAG1631

Ingredients

Crust ~

  • 1 ½  cup graham cracker crumbs (about 16 squares)
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, optional

Filling ~

  • 24 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 can pureed pumpkin (15 oz.)
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Candied Pecans ~

  • 1.5 cups pecans , whole or halved
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp water
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp + dash cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Then, prepare the crust:

In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch spring-form pan. Set aside.

Make the filling:

  1. Beat cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add pumpkin puree, eggs,  sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. Add vanilla.
  4. Beat together until well combined.
  5. Pour into crust.
  6. Bake in oven for 1 hour, 15 minutes.
  7. Turn off oven, and let sit the cake sit for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove cake from oven. Allow to cool. Refrigerate for 4 hours or more.

IMAG1622My cheesecake developed a crack while baking, so next time I might try baking it in a water bath. But, that will likely require a longer baking time.  I used candied pecans to hide the cracks a little. I could probably also have filled the cracks with chopped candied pecans to create a swirl design.

To make candied pecans:

  1. Beat water and egg white until frothy.
  2. Add pecans and mix.
  3. In separate bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Add sugar mixture to pecans.
  5. Spread on baking sheet. Bake at 250° F for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes
  6. Allow to cool.

IMAG1630

My friends all loved this cheesecake and asked for extra slices to take home with them!

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