Thursday, October 8, 2009

Epicurious: The Pumpkin Cheesecake Trial

The Scenario
For our recent staff social, I was responsible for bringing desert-the perfect opportunity to try a new one (so I wouldn't be stuck eating all that fattening goodness myself!) I wanted to make something with pumpkin to celebrate the coming of Fall and I found a pumpkin cheesecake recipe in my folder of recipes to try. I was excited.

The Recipe

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 14 graham crackers)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 2.5-ounce envelope unflavored gelatin
1 8-ounce bar cream cheese, at room temperature
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Make the crust: Heat oven to 400° F. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Transfer to a 9-inch spring form pan. Using a straight-sided dry measuring cup, press the mixture into the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of the pan. Bake until set, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

2. Make the filling: sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup boiling water. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until dissolved, about 5 minutes.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the pumpkin, sour cream, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Mix in the gelatin mixture until incorporated.

4. Chill: Pour the mixture into the crust and refrigerate, covered, until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

The Experience
I actually made two cheesecakes by doubling the recipe-one in a spring form pan, a smaller one in a pie pan, and then I served the leftover filling.

This cheesecake should be really easy to make because, instead of baking the filling (which is challenging to get right with cheesecake), you mix in unflavored gelatin and refrigerate it, giving it a light and fluffy texture.

I emphasize the should be easy. When you put clumsy April into the mix, things are more complicated. While mixing the filling with a hand mixer, my phone rang. Despite my wonderful fiance telling me he would answer it, I still went for it and brought the mixer, bowl and cream cheese with me.

The batter bowl crashed on the floor and broke into little pieces. I looked at the lump of cream cheese on the kitchen floor and wanted to cry. I never answered the phone.

My WONDERFUL fiance (did I mention that he is wonderful) cleaned up the mess (what a sweetheart!) while I went to Walmart to buy a new bowl and some cream cheese. I hate Walmart, but unfortunately it was the quickest solution.

After that disaster, the rest of the baking experience went swimmingly. I am a super messy cook, but I outdid myself this time!

The Verdict
This cheesecake is incredibly easy to make and very delicious! I received several compliments-particularly on how light and fluffy the filling is compared to most other cheesecakes. I highly recommend it!

Happy Baking!


  1. Oooohhh I MUST try this! I love pumpkin and the boyfriend loves cheesecake! Thanks for sharing!

    Stopping By From SITS =D

    combining 2 of my loves...


    Visiting you from SITS--and so glad I did!

  3. yummy. going to try it.


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