Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pumpkin Cheesecake Heaven

I was responsible for dessert for the Solche Thanksgiving this year. Two desserts. I love being responsible for dessert. An occasion to bake for is a good occasion. But this occasion came with some unique challenges. You see, Solche Thanksgiving was on Friday evening. And on Thursday morning I was leaving for the mountains, not to return until Friday afternoon. This means that I needed two desserts that could be made on Wednesday and still be fabulous on Friday.

So I made the wine cake cupcakes which are easy and always popular. But for the second dessert I decided to try my first cheesecake. In my fancy springform pan. I wanted to do a pretty layered cheesecake, the recipe for which I cut out of a magazine years ago. But I chickened out and went with a basic pumpkin cheesecake recipe that I copied down from somewhere a few years ago. And my grandmother's graham cracker crust recipe. And wow, was it good. I mean really good.

A few minutes before we were supposed to leave I decided that it wasn't pretty enough so I made a quick chocolate drizzle out of melted chocolate chips and shortening to fancy it up a bit. I was very happy with the results.

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup melted butter

Mix together all three ingredients. Press on bottom and sized of 9 inch springform pan.
Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

16 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 dash cloves

2 eggs

Combine cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and spices. Mix with a hand mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs. Mix until blended. Pour into crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until set. Cool. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, or overnight. (or in my case for 2 days)

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