Perfectly Simple Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
- 6 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- 8 whole graham crackers
- 1 (15 ounce) can 100% pure pumpkin puree
- 1 ¾ cups dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional garnish: Toasted or candied pecans (optional)
step 1: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.
step 2: Heat butter and sugar in a saucepan until butter melts. Meanwhile, line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with a 12-by-20-inch sheet of foil so it hangs over the long sides of the pan (you'll use this as a 'handle' to pull the cooked dessert from the pan). Arrange graham crackers over foil-lined pan bottom, cutting the final few with a knife so they'll fit snugly. Pour butter mixture over crackers; spread with knife to cover. Bake until butter-sugar mixture starts to harden, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees.
step 3: As crust bakes, heat pumpkin, 1 1/4 cups brown sugar and spices in a medium pan over medium-high heat until mixture is sputtery hot. Process eggs on high speed in a blender. Transfer pumpkin to a pourable container. With blender running, slowly add pumpkin mixture; puree until smooth. Add cream cheese, one block at a time; puree until smooth. Pour mixture over crust; bake until set, about 35 minutes.
step 4: Meanwhile, mix sour cream, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar and vanilla. Remove cheesecake from oven. Pour sour cream mixture evenly over top; carefully spread so top is completely covered. Return to oven. Bake to set topping, about 5 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate (can be made up to 2 days ahead).
step 5: To serve, run a knife around the pan perimeter to loosen cake. Use foil handles to pull cake from pan. Cut into squares (up to 15) and garnish with optional pecans.