Our 'newborn' turned 23 this week. Family tradition allows the birthday child to choose their favorite meal. Over the years meals have varied from pizza to hamburgers and many things in between. As children get older their tastes seem to get more expensive. No longer will a Happy Meal suffice!
That's Max and his cute girlfriend, JessMax chose grilled pork tenderloin, twice baked potatoes, yummy rolls and cheesecake.
Today we will focus on the cheesecake. Max didn't mention what kind of cheesecake he wanted (OK, I didn't ask). Being the middle of October I have pumpkin on my mind, pumpkin cheesecake to be exact. A Google search lead me to a Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe by Paula Dean. This recipe had over 500 five star reviews. I read several of the reviews and made a few changes. It was a heavenly combination of a pumpkin pie and a cheesecake. Here is Paula Deen's Recipe with my modifications.
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs--I used 2 cups
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 stick melted salted butter
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin or 2 cups
- 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups sugar-- I used 1 cup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mix together cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Press in bottom and up sides of a 9 inch springform fan. Put in freezer.
- Mix cream cheese in bowl of mixer till smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs and egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and seasonings. Mix untill combined. Pour mixture into chilled crust. I had about 1 1/2 cups too much filling. It would have filled my pan to the brim. There were complaints of the cheescake spilling over the pan. Since I didn't want a mess in my oven I reserved some of the filling and will make mini cheesecakes. Maybe a 10 inch pan would have worked (I didn't have one).
- I wrapped the bottom of my springform pan with 2 layers of foil and baked the cheese cake in a water bath. Put wrapped pan in a larger pan--such as a roaster pan and add an inch or two of boiling water in the roaster pan. I went to a chessecake class taught by a chef at Thanksgiving Point. He praised this waterbath method as the best way to cook cheesecake. It does have a wonderful texture when cooked this way. Bake cheesecake at 350 for about an hour and 10 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Cut cheesecake with a knife that has been dipped in hot water, clean after each cut. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Cheesecake improves with age. I had a slice for breakfast today (day 4) it was perfect, and then gone. I don't know how it would taste on day 5! It is certainly a dessert that can be made a day or two ahead. That's great news for a busy cook.
- This was a delicious dessert that was enjoyed by all. Yes, 5 stars!