This week's recipe for the Heavenly Cake Bakers was a Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake. Other than the spices in the gingersnap crust, the cheesecake contains no spices which really lets the pumpkin flavor come through. I ended up using Dutch gingersnap cookies called pepernoten for the cheesecake's crust. And I substituted toasted whole almonds for the pecans in the crust, as I'm allergic to pecans. This worked great. I think that the crust would work well without nuts as well.
I always like to spray the sides of a spring form pan with cooking spray and line the sides with parchment paper. This helps keep the sides of the cheesecake smooth, and it helps with the removal of the cake from the pan after baking.
Fearing that the batter might overflow if made in the food processor, as suggested in the book, I decided to make the batter in my KitchenAid mixer. This worked really well. I started beating cream cheese, then added the eggs and egg yolks, followed by the pumpking/cream mixture.
I loved loved loved this cheesecake. It was super-creamy, not too rich and full of pumpkin flavor. Furthermore, it didn't crack or sink, which is a common cheesecake problem. The turbinado sugar added a subtle caramel flavor to the cheesecake which I enjoyed. I skipped the caramel syrup merely because I ran out of time. I figured I'd make it later for the leftover cheesecake. But since it was this delicious as-is already, I left it out.
My friend had a chance to taste the cheesecake and loved it. She said: "it's the best cheesecake I've ever had". Needless to say, she will be making it very soon herself :o) It has definitely made it to my "favorite desserts"-list as well. Hubby enjoyed it very much too.
Here are some step-by-step pictures: