This recipe combines two of my favourite things – pumpkin, and cheesecake. While pumpkin desserts are typically associated with Thanksgiving (Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!), I personally think they’re a delight that can be enjoyed throughout the Fall. This recipe makes the perfect pumpkin cheesecake that’s both light and creamy, with a crispy graham crust.
makes one 6″ cheesecake – double the recipe for a standard size cheesecake
for the crust;
75 g graham cracker crumbs (about 10-12 crackers)
30 g sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
35 g unsalted butter, melted
for the cheesecake batter;
135 g sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt
340 g cream cheese
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons lemon juice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
215 g pumpkin puree, dried on paper towels
100 mL heavy cream
for the topping;
50 g crème fraiche
Prepare the pumpkin puree;
Spread the pumpkin puree over paper towels that are a few layers thick. Place a few more paper towels over the top, and press. Set aside while you prepare the crust. This process will really get the excess moisture out of the puree, which will ensure you don’t end up with a soggy cheesecake!
Prepare the crust;
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the melted butter, and stir to combine. Place into a 6″ (15 cm) springform pan, and press into place. Bake for 10 minutes, then allow the crust to cool on a wire rack.
Prepare the cheesecake batter;
Decrease the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F). In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add the cream cheese, and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until well combined. Mix in the vanilla and lemon juice.
Slowly add the egg with the mixer running. Add the pumpkin puree and mix to combine, followed by the cream.
Use tinfoil to cover the springform pan. This will ensure that no water seeps in once you set the cheesecake into the water bath for baking. (If you’re cooking an 8″ cheesecake, you’ll need to buy extra-wide tinfoil, to ensure it will completely cover the bottom of the pan and go all the way up the sides). Pour the batter into the pan (the crust should be at room temperature), place the springform pan into a larger pan, and add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the springform.
Bake until the cheesecake is set – about 1 hour 45 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, and let it cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Wrap the entire pan in plastic wrap, and place into the fridge for at least six hours, or overnight.
Slide a knife around the edge of the pan, and then pop the sides of the springform off. I use a hot offset spatula to smooth the edges of the cheesecake slightly. Spread the crème fraiche over the top.