Monday, November 26, 2012

Pumpkin Marble Cheesecake

One of my favorite fall flavors is Pumpkin. At our house, we enjoy treats like Pumpkin Pudding and Pumpkin Sherbert year round - made from canned pumpkin. In the fall though, I prefer to bake with fresh pumpkin.

After Halloween, we take our small 'pie' pumpkins and roast them up in the oven, scoop out the meat and mash it. Then, of course, we roast the seeds. This year, we roasted two pumpkins and got about 4 cups of pumpkin puree from them.

Since it was just the four of us at our Thanksgiving meal this year (we had had Thanksgiving with my extended family the weekend before), I decided to go with a pumpkin cheesecake this year, instead of the traditional pie. I tried and tweaked a new recipe. It was well received by the family. I think that the fact that it only used two packages of cream cheese was part of the secret - it gave a better texture, as it was able to cook more evenly then some of the larger, thicker recipes we have had in the past. I didn't do a water bath and it cracked, but I am okay with that - function over form, taste over appearance. This recipe is a definite keeper.

Pumpkin Marble Cheesecake

Servings 10

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter melted
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup fresh pumpkin pureed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray 9" spring-form pan with cooking spray. Combine the crushed graham crackers and melted butter. Press into the bottom and up sides of the pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar, and vanilla. Cream until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reserve 1 cup of the batter, refrigerate covered. To the remaining batter, add the remaining sugar, the pumpkin and spices. Mix until blended.

Remove the plain batter from the refrigerator and spoon about half onto the crust in dollops. Cover with the pumpkin batter and then dollop the remaining plain batter on top. Using a butter knife, gently swirl the batters together.

Bake for 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack in pan. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

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