Yield: Yields 1 9-inch cheesecake
Servings: 10 to 12
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
In a medium bowl, stir together the gingersnap crumbs and 3 Tbs. granulated sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan (to press, use plastic wrap or a flat-bottom measuring cup). Bake until the crust is fragrant and slightly darkened, 9 to 12 minutes. Let the pan cool on a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, pumpkin purée, flour, and a pinch of table salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps. Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.
Add the cinnamon, cloves, ground ginger, and nutmeg and vanilla, and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.
Bake at 300°F until the center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. The cake can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 month. (To freeze, put the unmolded, cooled cake on a rimmed baking sheet in the freezer, uncovered, until the top is cold and firm; then wrap it in two layers of plastic and one layer of foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.)
Unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate.
Garnish with pecans and serve immediately. To cut, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife after every slice.
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Delicious! Made this for the 3rd time for a birthday party at the office. Rave reviews from all and not a piece left. They were even licking the crumbs off of the serving knife! Easier to make than the other FC pumpkin cheesecake recipe and no water bath needed. Love the consistency of this cheesecake - very smooth & creamy with lots of flavors. Followed the recipe exactly except I ran out of ginger snaps and used 1/2 graham cracker & 1/2 ginger snap crumbs. Yumminess indeed!
Flavor balance was off in this cake. Not enough pumpkin and too much spice. The texture was off as well. The mixing method doesn't add the sugar directly to the cream cheese and that seemed to be the problem. Made the Pumpkin Cheesecake from Cook's Illustrated right after this one and it was excellent. This one is just ok.
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