Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake (A new Holiday "MUST"!)

Okay...I have to preface this...I'm not a's not a talent. So..don't let the picture deter you from making'll really thank me - if you go to all the trouble to make this!

And...if you've ever gone to Claim Jumper (my all-time favorite restaurant) you've probably tried this...and this is the closest I could make the recipe to theirs!

Pie Crust:
1 1/2 Boxes (3 sleeves) of Lorna Doone cookies
1 Stick Butter

Crush the cookies in your food processor (or in a ziploc if you don't want to go to the trouble of breaking out your food processor) until they are fine.  Melt your butter and add the two ingredients together.  The crumb mixture should hold together when pressed by hand.

Press firmly and evenly in the bottom of a 9 1/2" springform pan.  (Make sure to go up the sides a little...) Then put the pan into the refrigerator to "set" while you work on the filling.

Pumpkin Spice Mix:
(1) 15 oz. can of Libby's Pumpkin (puree only)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground allspice

Combine the pumpkin and spices together, whisking by hand until smooth.  Set aside.

Cream Cheese Mix:
4 boxes (2 lbs) softened cream cheese
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs, beaten slightly
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Beat the cream cheese, until all the lumps are out and it is completely smooth.  Add sugar and then beat smooth again.  Fold in the remaining ingredients.  Mix until smooth. 

Take 2 cups of this mixture and add to the Pumpkin Spice Mix in its bowl, mixing until smooth. 

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.  Get your springform pan out of the fridge, lightly spray the sides with non-stick spray, and then add the cream cheese mixture.  Smooth it out, then add the pumpkin mixture on top. 

Depending on your oven baking time could take anywhere from 50-60 minutes (with a convection oven) or 1 1/2-2 hours (if you're using a 30 year old dinosaur like I did at my Mom's...LOL)

If you've never made a cheesecake before, you'll need to check for the following signs: 

*Lack of "jiggling" in the middle - there should be some, but not a lot...the cheesecake will continue to have residual baking when you take it out...but not more than 1/2"-3/4" diameter's worth...
*Insert a should come out clean.  If it doesn''ve got a lot more time you'll need to bake it.
*Check out this website:  Tips

When you take it out, cool for 45 minutes, then mix the topping together.

Sour Cream Topping:
18 oz. sour cream (1 small container)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. lemon juice

Combine the sour cream, sugar and lemon juice in a mixing bowl.  Whisk it all together until smooth.  Spread the sour cream topping evenly over the cheesecake. 

Preheat your oven to 350.  Bake for 8 minutes (convection) or 10-20 minutes (again...probably will be closer to 12 minutes unless you're using a dinosaur like I was!)

Crush some of the remaining cookies (you should have 1 sleeve left) - however many you like - our leftovers never made it to the top...  ;)

Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving.

This is now a new holiday tradition for our family....!!

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