Pumpkin cheesecake is not technically a pie, but it does have a crust and has become a Thanksgiving classic. And I've simplified its crust, too: Simply lay whole graham crackers in the pan, then spread melted butter and sugar over the crackers, and bake.
INGREDIENTS (for 1 servings):
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 8 whole graham crackers
- 1 (15 ounce) can 100% pure pumpkin puree
- 1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional garnish: Toasted or candied pecans (optional)
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat butter and sugar in a saucepan until butter melts. Meanwhile, line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with a 12-by-20-inch sheet of foil so it hangs over the long sides of the pan (you'll use this as a 'handle' to pull the cooked dessert from the pan). Arrange graham crackers over foil-lined pan bottom, cutting the final few with a knife so they'll fit snugly. Pour butter mixture over crackers; spread with knife to cover. Bake until butter-sugar mixture starts to harden, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees.
As crust bakes, heat pumpkin, 1 1/4 cups brown sugar and spices in a medium pan over medium-high heat until mixture is sputtery hot. Process eggs on high speed in a blender. Transfer pumpkin to a pourable container. With blender running, slowly add pumpkin mixture; puree until smooth. Add cream cheese, one block at a time; puree until smooth. Pour mixture over crust; bake until set, about 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix sour cream, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar and vanilla. Remove cheesecake from oven. Pour sour cream mixture evenly over top; carefully spread so top is completely covered. Return to oven. Bake to set topping, about 5 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate (can be made up to 2 days ahead).
To serve, run a knife around the pan perimeter to loosen cake. Use foil handles to pull cake from pan. Cut into squares (up to 15) and garnish with optional pecans.
This recipe was originally featured in the USA WEEKEND article Simply Impressive Desserts on November 16, 2003.
Find the Perfect Recipe from Pam Anderson.Copyright 2004 USA WEEKEND and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.