To prepare the crust: Spray a 9-inch springform pan lightly with cooking spray. Double-wrap the outside bottom and sides of the pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil and set aside. In a small...

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12 to 16 servings


Crust:

– Nonstick cooking spray

– Heavy-duty aluminum foil

– ¾ cup fine graham-cracker crumbs

– 1/3 cup hazelnuts, finely ground

– ¼ cup granulated sugar

– ¼ cup packed brown sugar

– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled


Pumpkin filling:

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– 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature

– 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature

– ½ cup granulated sugar

– ½ cup packed brown sugar
– 1 can (16 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin purée

– 3 large eggs, room temperature

– 2 tablespoons cream or milk

– 2 tablespoons Frangelico liqueur

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 2 teaspoons cornstarch

– 1¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon

– ¾ teaspoon ground ginger

– ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg

– ½ teaspoon salt


Topping:

– 1½ cups sour cream

– 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

– 1½ tablespoons Frangelico

– Optional: 1 ounce chopped semisweet chocolate, melted

1. To prepare the crust: Spray a 9-inch springform pan lightly with cooking spray. Double-wrap the outside bottom and sides of the pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil and set aside. In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs, hazelnuts and sugars. Stir in melted butter with a fork, then press onto bottom of the prepared pan. Place in freezer about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. To prepare filling: Using the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugars together on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and beat in pumpkin until blended. Beat in eggs, cream, liqueur and vanilla until blended. Scrape down sides of bowl.

3. Stir together cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Beat into filling just until blended, then pour into crust, smoothing out the top. Place pan in a roasting pan. Add hot water to come about a third of the way up the sides of the springform pan. Put into oven and bake about 1 hour. The cheesecake should be set in the center. Remove from oven. Remove cheesecake from roasting pan and briefly set aside.

4. To prepare topping: Stir together sour cream, sugar and Frangelico. Spread on hot cheesecake and place back in oven 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. For a chocolate decoration, dip a spoon into melted chocolate and randomly drizzle over top. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan and set on a serving plate. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

From “Sensational Sweets: Baking for Tea Time, Desserts and Celebrations” by the editors of Victoria Magazine.