Pumpkin Cheesecake

Submitted by:
This recipe is a combination of one from my husband's grandma, and my own ideas! It was a huge hit at Thanksgiving dinner.

Preparation time:
Cooking time: 1 hour

Difficulty:
Serves: 16

Ingredients

Crust:
3/4 cup ginger snap crumbs
3/4 cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter (come on, use the good stuff!)
Filling:
3 packages cream cheese (8 oz. each) room temperature
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 can pumpkin puree NOT pie mix (15 oz.)
2/3 cup evaporated milk/5 oz. can
2 Tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. each ginger, nutmeg
1/4 tsp. each allspice, clove
2 lg eggs, room temperature
Topping:
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Method

Mix cookie crumbs, cracker crumbs, and butter. Press into bottom and partway up sides of 9 inch springform pan. Refrigerate. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Whip cream cheese until completely smooth, scraping bowl several times. Add brown sugar and beat well, scraping sides and bottom of bowl to thoroughly combine. Add pumpkin, milk, vanilla, and spices. Mix well. Add eggs and stir lightly just till combined. DO NOT OVERBEAT. Overbeating after adding the eggs is the most common cause of large cracks in a cheesecake. Pour filling into crust, bake 55 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, but leave oven on. Mix topping ingredients until smooth, spread over cheesecake as evenly and smoothly as possible. Return to oven and bake 5 more minutes.

Remove cheesecake from oven. Run a very sharp knife around the edge between cheesecake and pan. and cool at room temperature in a spot free from drafts. Cool completely before placing in the refrigerator. For BEST results chill in refrigerator overnight before serving.

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