I'm not a big pumpkin pie fan, so for my first time hosting Thanksgiving, I decided to twist tradition and do a pumpkin cheesecake instead. Um, wow. I'm never going back. My new stepmother-in-law said it was the best dessert she's ever eaten, and my father-in-law told me she woke up talking about it the next morning (score!). As someone who never says no to dessert, I can't claim it is the best dessert I've ever eaten, but it is very tasty, and a great compromise for families with both pumpkin pie lovers and haters. Since I typed it up to send to her, I thought I'd share it here as well. Be sure to bring the cream cheese to room temperature first, as it greatly improves the texture. I also left the butter quantity in the graham cracker crust variable, as I like mine richer than most. This is a slightly modified version of the Lion House Cookbook's recipe.
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs, rolled fine
3-6 Tbsp butter, melted
3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
¾ tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup pumpkin
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
½ tsp salt
1 pint sour cream
3 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla
Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press firmly onto bottom and sides of 10-inch springform pan. Leave in fridge to chill while you do the rest of the prep.
Whip cream cheese in mixer bowl; gradually add sugar, then eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla.
In separate bowl, combine pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. Mix well; add to cream cheese mixture. Pour filling into crust. Bake at 300 degrees for 55 minutes.
Whip sour cream; add sugar and vanilla. Spread on top of cheesecake and return to oven. Bake 10 more minutes. Cool before removing sides from springform pan. Refrigerate until ready to serve.