Monday, November 24, 2008

Pumpkin Walnut Cheesecake

This is a recipe that I copied from my friend Cathy Miller way back in 1983! She tells me that it serves 12, but I think that it is so filling that it can actually serve more.

For the crust, you will need:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup ground almonds
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

Press firmly over the bottom and up the sides of a lightly buttered 9" springform pan. Chill. (After chilling I wrap the pan in foil to prevent the butter from leaking out of the pan and all over the oven while baking.)

While the crust is chillin', you mix up the yummilicious fillin':

3 8 oz. packages cream cheese (I have used the low fat cream cheese and it is fine!)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (I have used Splenda, and folks cannot tell the difference!)
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 eggs
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1-3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup heavy cream

Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add sugars gradually, beating until well mixed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and heavy cream at low speed.

Pour into prepared pan:

Bake in a slow oven (325) for 1 hour and 35 minutes. Remove cake from oven and sprinkle with walnut topping:

Bake an additional 10 minutes.

Cool on a wire cake rack; refrigerate several hours, or over night. Garnish with whipped cream and pecans if you wish.

Walnut Topping:
Combine 6 tablespoons softened butter with 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar in a small bowl; mix well until crumbly. Blend in 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts. (I have found that 1/2 of the above is plenty for one cheesecake.)

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