November has arrived, which means the holidays are just around the corner! If you are like me, you probably are planning menus for those special dinners and are looking for some classic recipes. One classic recipe for the holidays is Pumpkin Pie, a tradition in many families.
However, coming from an Italian-American family we were not familiar with pumpkin pie for dessert. More likely we would serve pastries, cheesecake or cannoli. So when many of my readers asked for a pumpkin cheesecake recipe using my original Aunt Mary cheesecake formula, I was stuck.
When George and I moved to Texas, we became familiar with pumpkin pie (George’s favorite) and learned from native Houstonians how to make a perfect pie. Not until a few years ago has pumpkin been introduced into cheesecake.
I have tried a few pumpkin cheesecakes in various restaurants and bakeries, but never would compare them to the light, fluffy type that I make. But the requests for using my recipe with pumpkin added was something I felt I needed to answer. Using suggestions I have received from others and with a few other changes, I was able to incorporate pumpkin into my family recipe while retaining the consistency, flavor, and texture of the original. I think the following recipe I have developed meets that standard.
For those that are not familiar with my original fluffy cheesecake recipe, give it a look – it offers a printable recipe plus a video on preparation. Also, be sure to read the Helpful Suggestions posted at the end of the recipe for help in baking the perfect cheesecake.
Have all ingredients at room temperature.
- 9” springform pan
- 1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 2 TBS. granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 320 degrees
In springform pan, with fork stir graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and sugar until blended and moistened. With hand, press mixture onto bottom of pan. Set aside.
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese – softened
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin (not pumpkin-pie mix)-preferably Libby’s
- ½ cup sour cream
- 6 eggs separated (whites in mixing bowl, set aside)
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup light or dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 TBS. pure vanilla extract
- In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed beat cream cheese with milk until smooth; slowly beat in sugar and brown sugar until blended, scraping bowl often with rubber spatula. Beat in pumpkin, sour cream, egg yolks, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla.
- In separate bowl beat egg whites until stiff and stand in peaks. Carefully fold whites into mixture until well blended.
- Pour mixture into prepared crust and bake for 1 hr 10 minutes or until center barely jiggles.
- Turn off oven and let cheesecake sit for 1hr in oven. Do not open oven door!
- Remove cheesecake from oven and set on wire rack. With thin knife, loosen cheesecake from side of pan. Cool cheesecake completely.
- Do not remove rim and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove side of pan to serve. Garnish with powdered sugar.
Happy Holidays to all! – Mary