This may come as a surprise to you, but I love cheesecake: cheesecake in the morning; cheesecake in the evening; cheesecake at supper time…. I’ve had this cheesecake recipe for years and I thought I would share it here, but plain, old cheesecake isn’t really a Halloween kind of treat. So, I decided to add some pumpkin to the mix to make it a pumpkin swirl cheesecake instead. If you try it, I hope you enjoy it, because, you know, I ate all of the one I made. I’m just kidding. I let my daughter have a bite.
If you’ve been paying attention to my blog all of this time, you will have noticed that I try to include healthier, if not totally healthy, components into my recipes. Sure, you could cut sweets and such out of your diet altogether, but what fun is that? You may as well be a zombie. “Cheeeeesecaaaake”…. So, I did the same with this recipe, too. There isn’t much you can substitute and still have it taste like cheesecake. I use a different kind of sugar in my recipes: a more natural, unrefined one. I, also, used less of it. If you like sweeter cheesecake, simply add more.
Here are the ingredients:
- 2 packages of cream cheese, (16 oz total). Leave out to soften
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 a can of pumpkin, about 8oz
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract. I use Pure Mexican Extract
- 1 cup of Unrefined Granulated Coconut Sugar, (add ½ cup for sweeter)
- 1 – 1 1/2 packages of honey graham crackers
- 1 tsp of pumpkin spice
- 1 tbsp of Unrefined Granulated Coconut Sugar
- 1/4 cup (1 stick) of butter
- Prep Time: about 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 325 for about 45 minutes or until center is almost set, (depending on oven)
- Cool Time: 4 hours, at least
Obviously, I started with the crust. Grind up the graham crackers somehow. You can use a food processor or put them in a ziplock and pound the crap out of them. It’s okay if you don’t get them completely pulverized. It’s up to you, but some crackers chunks won’t be the end of the world. It is only the crust.
Next, mix the crumbs together with the Tbsp of sugar and the pumpkin spice, just to make sure the spices are spread evenly. Lastly, heat up the butter and mix it with the crumb mixture. You don’t, necessarily, need a big mixer for this step. All you’re doing is coating the crumbs with the butter so that they can be molded onto the pan. Now, again, this is entirely up to you: you can use a regular pie tin, as that’s how big the mix will be, or you cane use a spring form pan. It works either way, except, you may need to enlarge the crust mixture to cover the side of the pan, or leave it as is and coat just the bottom.
When you’re finished mixing, press the crumb mixture onto the base and sides of the pan, or just the bottom, if you so choose.
Now, for the filling: toss your softened cream cheese in the mixer, along with the sugar. One note, it you aren’t already familiar with working with cream cheese. It’s important to make sure the cheese is warmed before blending. It’s also important to blend the cheese and the sugar together well. In either case, your mixture will end up having lumps. This isn’t mashed potatoes. So, skip the lumps. Next, add the vanilla, and the eggs, adding the items one at a time. Again, mix well. I used a large Kitchen Aid stand mixer. It’s just easier. I don’t have to worry about holding the hand mixer with one hand while I add ingredients with the other.
Now, it’s time to add the swirl, if you will. Take 2/3 cup of the current mixture out and set it aside. Now, add the pumpkin to the remaining mixture and blend well. Once that is done, pour the pumpkin mixture over the crust and even it out. Next, add the cup of regular mixture to the pan in dollops. Swirl the dollops with the first part of the mixture. Be careful not to swirl too much, otherwise, you won’t have swirls so much as just a plain, pumpkin cheesecake. You may have to fold a little to get the pumpkin to show on the top. Lastly, pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the center is almost set, at 325.
When it’s done cooking, let the pan cool a little before putting the cheesecake into the refrigerator. Cool for, at least, 4 hours: overnight would be best.
Slice, add whipped cream ,and enjoy.