Monday, September 5, 2011

Philadelphia Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Category: Desserts
Difficulty Rating: Medium

It's Fall, when a young man's heart turns to...not love, like in Spring. It turns to pumpkin!!! I find most men/boys I know love pumpkin in food. This cheesecake is easy, delish and a fun addition at fall gatherings--tailgate parties, Thanksgiving etc. You only see the pumpkin swirl from the side as you cut in, not the top. So heap or pipe on a pile of whipped heavy cream at the last minute for a garnish. It's luscious looking and covers up any cracks.

This recipe is from an olde "Philadelphia Cream Cheese" magazine ad. I use only their cream cheese for cheese cake. The cheaper, generic brands are too gummy. No, they aren't paying me to say that. Makes at least 12 servings.

Make one Classic Graham Cracker Crust (I use HoneyMaid Grahams)
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened.
1 C sugar, divided
1 t vanilla
3 eggs
1 C canned pumpkin
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
dash cloves
OR 1 1/4 t pumpkin pie spice instead of the above spices ( I use this--cos it's easy)

Directions for filling:

Beat cream cheese, 3/4 C of the sugar and vanilla with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time at low speed After each addition. Add pumpkin, and spices into remaining batter. Spoon 1/2 of the pumpkin batter over crust; top with spoonfuls of 1/2 of the reserved plain batter. Repeat layers. Cut through batters with a knife several ( like 10) times for a marbled effect). Note: I find making alternating the batters in almost a "checkerboard"to be helpful before making swirls with a knife. And I do intentionally make swirls, I don't just run the knife through.

Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes, then turn off the oven and let it "rest" inside the oven for another 10. Cheesecake is done when a tester comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Remove from pan after it is cool by loosening cake from the sides of the pan with a knife and removing sides of springform. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Classic Graham Cracker Crust:

8 whole graham crackers (or 1 wax paper package) crushed. Should make about 1 1/4 C
1/4 C sugar ( I use a heaping T)
1/3 C butter, melted

Mix ingredients together. Spread in and about 2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan, or two 8-inch pie pans. (At this point, I would like to acknowledge and thank Marie Callendar's for supplying me with so many cheap pie pans, which I still use). Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool a bit before filling.

Crust: Philly uses a ginger snap crust in this recipe. I tried it and it gets too darn wet and mushy for my taste. I love ginger snaps, but this was a bad idea.

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