Courtney’s Common Law Mother-In-Law Barb’s Pumpkin Cheesecake

Courtney’s common law mother-in-law Barb, who has been filling in for Jen while she is on maternity leave, has a recipe for pumpkin cheesecake that will be the featured treat at any Thanksgiving meal.

Barb’s Pumpkin Cheesecake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 9 Hours
Cook Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Serves: 12 servings

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 3/4 cups sugar
2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature – 4 packages (8 ounces each)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 15-ounce can of pure pumpkin
6 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups sweetened whipped cream
1/3 toasted pecans, roughly chopped (Trader Joe’s Pecan Pralines is preferred)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit

Brush a 10-inch springform pan with some of the butter. Stir the remaining butter with the crumbs, 1/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, packing it tightly and evenly. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a rack, then wrap the outside of the springform pan with foil and place in a roasting pan.

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. add the remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar and beat until just light, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed. Beat in the sour cream, then add the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, 1 teaspoon salt and the spices and beat until just combined. Pour into the cooled crust.

Gently place the roasting pan in the oven (don’t pull the rack out) and pour the boiling water into the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake until the outside of the cheesecake sets but the center is still loose, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and open the door briefly to let out some heat. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 more hour, then carefully remove from the roasting pan and cool on a rack. Run a knife around the edges, cover an refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Bring the cheesecake to room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Unlock and remove the springform ring. To finish, place a dollop of the whipped cream on each slice and sprinkle with the roasted pecans.

Serve, enjoy, and get ready for many, many compliments!

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