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.
nutrition information (per serving):
440, Fat Calories
26, Saturated Fat
14, Polyunsaturated Fat
1.5, Monounsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips