This one is easy on the old bird!
Just grab a can of pumpkin and a few other ingredients and enjoy a Thanksgiving-inspired New England specialty.
Cheesecake Factory’s Pumpkin Cheesecake
It’s best to use an 8-inch springform pan for a nearly perfect clone of this fantastic dessert; if you do not have one of those, use two 9-inch pie plates; just know you’ll have two smallish cheesecakes.
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
Whipping cream for topping.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
For the crust: combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and 1 teaspoon sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Stir just enough to coat the crumbs with the butter. Mixture should be crumbly, not reduced to a paste.
Press the crumbs onto the bottom and about two-thirds of the way up the sides of the springform pan; not all the way up. Bake the crust for five minutes. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to add filling.
For filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and the teaspoon vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. (A sturdy Kitchen Aid mixer is great for this sort of heavy mixing.)
Add the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and continue to beat until smooth and creamy.
Pour the filling into the slightly cooled crust. Bake at 350° F. for 60 to 70 minutes. The top will turn a bit darker at this point. Remove from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool. After the cheesecake has come to room temperature, refrigerate.
When the cheesecake has chilled, remove the pan sides and cut the cake into eight equal pieces. Serve each piece with a large dollop of whipped cream or with whipped cream piped around the edge and more whipped cream passed alongside.
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