December 18, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I really was going to make a pumpkin cheesecake for all of my loyal readers before thanksgiving (yea right, I was going to make it for me, and if my office was lucky, they might get some). But because of the onslaught of the laziness virus I still haven’t done it. And worse, I’ve eaten half the box of graham crackers and made pasta salad with some of the cream cheese that I bought to make the cheesecake. Also I was going to follow Alton Brown’s cheesecake advice but it takes a bit more time than I have this week. Alton recommends an egg/yolk combination, a one piece pan, a waterbath and the one hour with the oven on and one with the oven off. I do want to try that. My recipe below is from a few years ago, and I’ve tested it many times so it does work and it’s very good, but I’m sure a little more technique will result in a fluffier, taller, uncracked cheesecake. Note that I use a springform pan, but wrap it in foil so the water from the bath doesn’t get in. Also I have no measurment for how much crushed cookies you need for the crust. Alton says 33 graham crackers. I like to throw some ginger snaps in too, so adjust accordingly. In any case here’s the recipe.

KIPlog Pumpkin Cheesecake
Special Equipment
9-inch springform cake pan
low cooking pan of some kind, capable of holding an inch of water
graham cracker crumbs
ginger snap cookies
1/2 stick butter
2 8-oz packages Philadelphia brand cream cheese (DO NOT USE THE LOWFAT! What would be the point?)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
5 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick of butter
tsp vanilla extract
Knob Creek Bourbon
1 can of pumpkin (Libby’s if you can get it)
Take the cream cheese and butter out of the frig for about an hour to get soft.
Mash the ginger snaps into crumbs, and if you bought graham crackers instead of pre-crushed crumbs, mash them too.
Spread lots of butter on the bottom and sides of the springform pan, mush the rest of butter into the mashed cookies, and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and on the sides. You won’t need to go all the way up the sides perfectly, the cake won’t reach that high. Put in a 325 degree oven for 5-8 minutes just to set the crust.
Mush and beat the cream cheese, butter, sugars and cream ’til mixed. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the eggs slowly, a little at a time, mixing them in. Add the spices according to your taste and mix in. I like more ginger than cinnamon and more cinnamon than nutmeg. Add a dolop of honey. Add the can of pumpkin and bourbon (a shot or so). Mix ’til smooth.
Pour the filling into the pan and center the pan on square of heavy-duty foil; press to side of pan. Put the pan in the other pan with an inch of water or so.
Put in a 325° oven for an hour or until the top is light brown, the filling is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Take it out, chill for awhile (at least an hour, overnite if possible), and try not to eat the entire cake in one sitting.
Also the Web designers among us might appreciate Jakob Nielsen’s Cheescake Recipe