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Recipe

Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

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Scott Phillips

Servings: 12 to 14

The candy-like bottom edge of the gingersnap crust makes a wonderful contrast to the creamy custard in this festive dessert.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • Cooking spray
  • 2-1/4 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (from about 11 oz. cookies)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 2-1/2 oz. (5 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • 3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked, well-mashed sweet potatoes (from 2 medium)

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 440
      Fat Calories (kcal): 230
      Fat (g): 26
      Saturated Fat (g): 14
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
      Cholesterol (mg): 110
      Sodium (mg): 380
      Carbohydrates (g): 47
      Fiber (g): 1
      Sugar (g): 30
      Protein (g): 6

Preparation

Make the crust

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.
  • Generously coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment and spray again.
  • Combine the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and combine thoroughly, first with a spoon and then with your fingers, until the crumbs are evenly moist. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom and partway up the sides of the pan. It will not go all the way up the sides and does not need to be even. Bake until light golden brown, 8 to 9 minutes; if the crust puffs up, gently press it back down.

Bake the cheesecake

  • In a medium bowl, combine the sugars, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, and salt with a fork.
  • In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until soft and fluffy. Add the sugar mixture and mix to combine. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sour cream and mix just to incorporate. Add the sweet potatoes and mix well to combine.
  • Put the crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the batter into the prepared crust, leaving a 1/4-inch space at the top of the pan; you may have some batter remaining. Bake until the cheesecake looks dry on the surface and is mostly set with just a little jiggle in the center, 50 to 60 minutes. The top may rise a bit but will settle as it cools.
  • Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest in the oven with the door ajar by about 6 inches for 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours more.
  • Refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days before serving. (Once cold, you can cover it loosely.)
  • To serve, let stand at room temperature for an hour or so to take off the chill. Remove the side of the springform pan. Run a long, thin metal spatula under the cheesecake between the bottom crust and the parchment. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate. Run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife after each slice.

Make Ahead Tips

The cheesecake can be baked, cooled and chilled, wrapped well in plastic, and frozen; let it thaw in the refrigerator for a day before removing from its pan and serving.

Tip

Boil, bake, or microwave whole, unpeeled sweet potatoes before mashing for this recipe. You can also substitute canned sweet potatoes; just pour off the syrup and rinse the potatoes before mashing; though the color may be lighter, the flavor is close to home-cooked. One 29-oz. can of sweet potato chunks yields about 2-1/4 cups mashed.

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