Pumpkin Cheesecake

from The Joy of Cooking


For the Crust:

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs                                 

¼ – ½ cup sugar

6 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and cooled                  

1 tsp ground cinnamon *optional


For the filling:

2/3 cup packed brown sugar                                        

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground cloves                                                     

¼ tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground or grated nutmeg                                   

1 pound cream cheese (2 8oz. packages)

2 large eggs                                                                 

2 large egg yolks

1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin                                

1 ½ cups sour cream

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar                                 

1 tsp vanilla

**have all ingredients for the cheesecake at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F.

Put the graham cracker crumbs and sugar into a bowl and stir until well blended.  Work in the butter.  Form into an 8 inch spring form pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Let cool.

In a small bowl, combine the 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.  Put the softened cream cheese into a large bowl and beat just until smooth, about 30 to 60 seconds.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time; beat until well blended after each addition and scrape the sides of the bowl.  Beat in the pumpkin puree until just blended.  Scrape the filling into your baked crumb crust and bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325F and bake until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center still looks moist and jiggles when the pan is tapped, 10 to 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, whisk together the sour cream, 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar and vanilla.  Scrape on top of the hot cake and smooth with a spatula.  Return to the oven for 7 minutes.  Remove to a rack to cool completely before un-molding.  Chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving.