Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
- Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes – 6 hours 40 minutes
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Bake Time: 1 hour
- Chill Time: 3 hours
- Servings: 12
- 1 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs, finely ground (about 30 small cookies from a 16-ounce box)
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Three 8-ounce packages regular or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin pie mix (half of a 29-ounce can)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- For a sweeter cheesecake, add an additional 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with the baking rack on lowest level.
Step 2 Mix cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar together with a fork in medium bowl until crumbs hold together. Press crumb mixture firmly into the bottom and 1 to 2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch round tin plate or steel (not nonstick) springform pan. Bake 6 to 8 minutes until crust is set. Cool and set aside.
Step 3 Add softened cream cheese to a large bowl and beat on high speed with a hand mixer, scraping down sides and bottom of the bowl with rubber spatula until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. There should be no lumps.
Step 4 Add additional sugar (if desired), pumpkin pie mix and pumpkin pie spice. Blend well with mixer on medium speed, scraping down sides of the bowl with rubber spatula. With mixer still on medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one. With the mixer on low, add cornstarch until just blended. Pour batter into prepared springform pan.
Step 5 Bake in the oven until edges are cooked and center jiggles slightly when the side of the pan is tapped, about 50 to 60 minutes. Do not overcook or the cheesecake will crack (but it will still taste great).
Step 6 Cool completely on cooling rack, about 2 hours. Cover top of a springform pan with Saran Wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Cheesecake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If freezing, cover the top of the pan with Saran Wrap and freeze overnight. It will keep in the freezer for up to 1 week. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Keep chilled until serving.
Chefs Notes: Be sure to use canned pumpkin pie mix (which already contains sugar) and not canned pure pumpkin. A 29-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix yields enough for two cheesecakes.Traditional tin plate or steel springform pans are best for cheesecakes. Nonstick pans cause the cake to cook too fast and possibly burn.