|Pumpkin cheesecake is delicious. The ginger snap crust makes it extra special.|
Ginger Snap Crust:
1-1/4 cups ginger snap cookie crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
(Omit crust for Pesach)
3 packages (8 oz or 250 gm) **cream cheese, SOFTENED
1 cup packed brown sugar, divided
3/4 cup good quality sour creme or thick Greek style yoghurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin (I use pureed, frozen pumpkin from our own garden)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
**I use Neufchatel Cheese - it is a lower fat version of cream cheese but the results will be the same.
Preheat oven to 325°F /165°C
In a bowl OR in the bottom of your 9-inch springform pan (that's how I roll) blend together the dry ingredients for the crust. Pour the melted butter onto the dry ingredients and mix well with a fork. Press to the bottom and a little bit up the sides of the pan (about 1inch/2.5 cm)
Bake the crust in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes - you will begin to smell the delicious ginger snaps
Remove springform pan from the oven and cool on a rack
In a large bowl, beat SOFTENED creme cheese and 3/4 cup of the brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the sour creme or yoghurt and vanilla until smooth. Add beaten eggs and mix until blended.
In another bowl, combine pumpkin, spices, and remaining brown sugar. Stir in 1-1/2 cups of the cream cheese mixture (above).
To make the marbled cheesecake:
Into the baked and cooled ginger snap crust pour 1-1/2 cups plain cream cheese mixture. Gently spread 1-1/3 cups pumpkin mixture over the top. Repeat layers until you have used all of the cream cheese and the pumpkin mixtures.
Now, using a knife, cute through all the layers to make it swirl. (A bit like you do when you make a marble cake)
Bake for an hour to an hour and ten minutes or until the centre is just set and the top appears dull. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar for one hour (use a tea towel if your oven will not stay open by itself)
Remove the cake from the oven and chill, lightly covered for 4 to 8 hours before serving.
To serve: Remove the ring from the springform pan by first running a thin knife around the edge, between the cheesecake and the pan. When cutting creamy-textured desserts, such as cheesecake, it helps to have a thin sharp knife and to chill it ahead of time. Carefully wipe off the knife blade between cuts with a clean damp towel. This prevents the creamy filling from building up on the blade, ensuring nice clean cuts.
Recipe makes 12-16 servings - depending on the appetites of your guests
This cheesecake can be make Kosher for Pesach if the crust is omitted.
In the USA - Stauffer's Ginger Snaps Cookies may be found at Walmart or Walmart.com
In Australia - Bakers Ginger Nuts might be crisp enough.