We traded pumpkin pie for pumpkin cheesecake this year, and it was a big hit! I think this will be our new tradition. This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen, which adapted the recipe from Gourmet Magazine (2003).
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, or other cookie crumbs (we used vanilla goldfish!)
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
3-4 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature (we used low-fat cream cheese and the results were excellent)
Butter sides & bottom of 9-inch springform pan
In food processor, mix cookie crumbs, pecans, sugars, and butter. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1/2 inch up side of pan (if you can) then chill crust, 1 hour.
In food processor, mix pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla. Add cream cheese and mix until creamy and smooth.
Add sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
Pour filling into crust, smoothing top.
Bake in 350 oven until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes.
Transfer to rack and cool 5 minutes. (Leave oven on.)
If desired, chill until cold. Remove sides when you want.