A few months ago my husband’s work handed out bonuses, and when he came home he handed his bonus over to me and told me to buy whatever I wanted, knowing full well I was probably going to buy baking essentials (stuff I do not necessarily need, but definitely want). Of course I spent my time slowly looking around and purchasing things every once in a while. I love it when I have “free money” to spend on stuff that I would normally wait until Christmas and ask for it then.
So one of my purchases was actual cheesecake pans.
So I figured once I got these, I would make a lovely pumpkin cheesecake, as it is that time of year when everyone else celebrates in the love of pumpkin (something I do year round).
To start off, make sure your cream cheese is room temperature. I take it out the night before, but if you have a warmer home, a few hours should be fine. (This recipe makes 2 – 6″ cheesecakes, although if you have a 9 to 10″ springform pan you can use this recipe to make one larger cheesecake (although it may be slightly too much filling for a 9″ pan.)
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Prepare your pans, spray with baking spray. Put a larger pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.
Mix together your graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter and divide between the two pans. (This makes a really thin crust, so if you like a thicker crust, you can easily double this recipe for the crust). Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the crust starts to brown around the edges. You will be able to tell it’s done when your house smells like graham cracker crust.
As soon as the pans come out of the oven, while they are still hot, wrap the outside of the pans with saran wrap, this will seal the pan up to prevent water from getting in, then wrap the outside in a double layer of heavy duty foil.
While the crust is cooling, beat the cream cheese in your stand mixer one medium to medium high speed all by itself for 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl down at least 3 times to make sure there are no lumps.
Add in the sugar and mix on medium speed for another 2 minutes.
Next, add in the pumpkin (I used my pumpkin butter for a deeper pumpkin flavour – if you don’t have pumpkin butter you can easily buy a can of pumpkin pie filling – not pumpkin puree, but the pie filling – and over medium heat cook the pumpkin pie filling until it has darkened and somewhat dried out (about 25 minutes) stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn – allow this to cool completely and store in the fridge). Also add in vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract) with the pumpkin.
Add in your eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until fully incorporated on medium low speed.
Remember to scrape the bowl down after each addition (whether it be the eggs, or sugar or pumpkin. Next up is the heavy/whipping cream, while on medium low speed slowly pour in the cream and continue to mix for 3 minutes.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and place into a larger roasting pan. Carefully pour your boiling water into the pan up to half way up the sides of the pans and place in your oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. it should still slightly giggle in the middle when it’s done.
Remove from the water bath as soon as you remove them from the oven, and allow to cool on a cooling rack until room temperature, then place in the fridge over night. (I don’t cover them with saran when I put them in the fridge, as I really don’t like condensation dripping down onto the cheese cake (just in case there is still some residual heat in them when they get put in the fridge.)
The next day you can remove them from the pan. If you are using a springform pan you are going to want to run a thin knife around the edge to make sure it’s not stuck. With the new cheesecake pan, it pushed out beautifully.
Yes, every once in a while I do still get cracks in my cheesecakes, this is what ganache is for!
Allow the ganache to start to thicken up before pouring onto the top of the cheesecakes.
**Here’s the thing, if you are not sure about the saran wrap, I will say this, it saved me, as I had some leaking on one of the pans through the foil, but the water didn’t get through the saran. If you have a larger pan and you aren’t sure the saran is going to cover it all, use a couple of sheets and after you wrap the saran around the outside of the pan, put in the oven for 30 seconds to start to melt the saran to seal the pan. Then cover with the foil. The saran peels off very easily once everything is cool.
(makes 2 6″ cakes)
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
4 pkg. light cream cheese (if you want to use full fat go ahead, although you want taste the difference with light cream cheese)
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin butter
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped.
1/2 cup whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.
- Spray your pans with baking spray.
- Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter – I use a fork for this to make sure everything is mixed thoroughly and not clumping.
- Divide graham cracker mixture between the two pans and press down firmly. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
- Once the pans come out of the oven quickly cover the outside of the pans with saran wrap (make sure to use oven its when doing this as the pans will be hot and you don’t want to burn yourself). Then wrap the pans in a double layer of foil. Allow crust to cool.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat cream cheese for 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl after each minute.
- Add in sugar and continue to beat for an additional 2 minutes.
- Scrape down bowl.
- Add in pumpkin butter and vanilla bean paste. Mix to combine – approximately 1 minute.
- Scrape down the bowl.
- Add in the eggs, on medium low speed, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each egg is combined.
- On medium low speed, slowly pour in the whipping cream and minute for 2 additional minutes.
- Divide batter between the two pans (my pans are 6″ X 3″ deep and the batter fills almost to the top).
- Place the pans into a large roasting pan and pour the boiling water around the pans, to half way up the sides of the cheesecake pans.
- Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack and allow to come to room temperature and then place in the fridge over night.
- The next day remove the cheesecakes from the pans and make the ganache (if you choose to, you don’t have to have the ganache on top it is totally optional).
- To make the ganache, bring the cream to a simmer, pour over the chopped chocolate, let sit for 30 seconds and then slowly stir until all the chocolate is melted and is smooth. Let cool for approx. 10 minutes to thicken up and then pour carefully over the two cheesecakes.