Saturday, October 17, 2009

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE



CRUST

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 24 squares)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

FILLING

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons brandy, if desired
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
5 eggs

1. Heat oven to 325 F. Grease 9-inch springform pan with shortening. In small bowl, mix cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and the melted butter. Press crumb mixture in bottom of pan. Wrap foil around outside of pan to prevent drips. Bake crust 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate about 5 minutes or until completely cooled.

2. Meanwhile, in another small bowl, mix flour, pumpkin pie spice, brandy and pumpkin; set aside. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in brown sugar and 2/3 cup granulated sugar until smooth. On low speed, beat in 1 egg at a time just until blended. Gradually beat in pumpkin mixture until smooth.

3. Pour filling over crust. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes or until set but center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 30 minutes.

4. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on wire rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.

5. To serve, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Carefully remove side of pan before cutting cheesecake. Store covered in refrigerator.

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