I had part of a can of pumpkin puree leftover that was calling my name to use, so I decided I would try and make a pumpkin cheesecake. So glad I did. It was creamy and had just the right amount of spices to give it that holiday look and taste. I did not do this, but a squirt of whip cream would make it complete.
I wanted to know the history of cheesecake and started poking around the net for an excellent resource. Found a great site to explore, The History of Cheesecake and Cream Cheese.
Choosing a nut for the crust was so easy since hazelnuts are by far my favorite nuts. I bought the bag of hazelnuts since it is too late for harvested hazelnuts, but they are still so good. If you are lucky enough to have your own tree but never were very sure what to do with them here is a helpful site for harvesting your own hazelnuts.
Pumpkin Cheesecake BitesBarbara Hall
- 1 ½ cup Graham crackers 1 box crushed
- 1 ½ tablespoon Sugar white
- ⅓ cup Melted butter unsalted
- ½ cup Hazelnuts
- 16 oz Cream Cheese 2 bars softened
- ½ cup Sugar white
- 2 Eggs
- ½ teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon Ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1-½ cup Pumpkin puree
- Take a 9X9 or 8X8 and line the sides and bottom with tin foil.
- In a food processor, add the hazelnuts and pulse until it is like sand in size. Add the graham crackers and pulse until both the graham crackers and the hazelnuts are in very very small pieces. Dump the graham cracker and hazelnut mixture into a bowl and add the sugar and melted butter. Mix until the graham crackers are damp and sticking together.
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish with tin foil and evenly press down, so you have a crust that is the whole bottom of the baking dish. Set the baking dish aside for now.
- In a stand or hand-held mixer, add both bars of the softened cream cheese and beat till fluffy about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sugar and mix for another 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides then mix for another minute. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and mix for a minute. Add one egg and blend before adding the 2nd egg. Stop and scrape along the sides and bottom to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Add the pumpkin puree and mix until it is blended. It will be runny but will firm up when baked and chilled overnight.
- Pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling on top of the graham cracker crust. Give it a little shake to get any air bubbles to rise to the surface and to spread it over the crust evenly — Bake at 325° for 40 minutes. When you take the dish out of the oven, the cheesecake filling should not jiggle very much. Sit it out to cool, then cover loosely and refrigerate overnight.
- Take the cheesecake out of the refrigerator the next day and grab the tin foil on two sides and lift it right out of the dish. The tinfoil peels right off the bottom. On a cutting board, cut the cheesecake into whatever size pieces you like. I had a lot of people, so I made mine small so they could pick it up and eat it like a cookie.