However, before I get to that, I wanted to announce our Iron Chef Week WINNER! It's MOLLY EBERT. She's won a $25 gift card to Williams-Sonoma. Molly gave us a terrific secret ingredient. Tune in, in December, to find out WHAT IT IS and how we will use it when we have our NEXT Iron Chef Week. And thanks to all who came up with the great suggestions, like Pattie for artichokes, Judy for anchovies, and Joann for green apples. Great ideas!!!! Also, remember, if you didn't win this time, check back with us. Our next contest will be starting SOON.
And now, for my dish, I decided to combine pumpkin and CHEESE (of course) and, well, what could be better than pumpkin cheesecake?
I came up with the easiest recipe in the world. Impossible, you say? Don’t be such a skeptic. It really is easy.
I tossed together crunched up cookies and butter and put them in the springform pan. While that baked for 5 minutes, I DUMPED everything else into a bowl, whipped it up, and I was ready to pour it on top of the “crust.” That's right, DUMPED.
This is an excellent substitution for pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. It’s also excellent pretty much any day of the week!
When I usually make a cheesecake, I whip the egg whites and egg yolks separately, folding the egg whites into the final batter and that makes the cheesecake “taller” and a little lighter, but truly the flavor of this EASY pumpkin cheesecake is so fabulous that it doesn’t need to be taller or lighter. It’s pure yum. I
The key, in my humble opinion, is using ricotta cheese as well as cream cheese. Ricotta has a lighter texture and blends well.
So, here it is…
EASY PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1/2 cup graham crackers crumbs (or crunchy chocolate chip cookies, pounded into crumbs)
2 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. sugar
1 cup sugar
12 oz. cream cheese softened
12 oz. Ricotta cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
Make the crust by combining the cracker crumbs, butter and 1 Tbs. sugar.
Press into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Bake the crust for 5 minutes, then set aside until ready to fill.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheese, 1 cup sugar, vanilla, pumpkin, eggs, spices. Beat on HIGH until smooth and creamy.
Pour into the springform.
Bake for 60-70 minutes.
The top will be a bit darker by this point.
Turn off oven and let stand in oven for 1 hour to SET.
Remove cake from oven. When the cake is at room temperature, put it into the refrigerator.
When the cake is chilled, run a knife around the outer rim and then remove the springform pan sides.
Serve plain or with whipped cream.
If you want to check out more of The Cheese Shop Mysteries, the first called The Long Quiche Goodbye and coming out in July, click on this link to check out my website: