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Pumpkin Spice Swirl Cheesecake with Candied Walnuts




Far easier to make than it looks, this elegant pumpkin spice cheesecake is perfect for the holidays.

I originally found the recipe in a magazine (for the life of me I can't remember which one) about fifteen years ago.

After it was a big hit one Thanksgiving, I started making it a holiday tradition.

It's nice because you can make it up to two days in advance and keep it refrigerated until you're ready to serve.


After we began to raise our own chickens and I realized that the fresh eggs make any cheesecake so much richer and tastier, this recipe became a keeper at our house and a holiday favorite.

I love how the swirls even look like fall leaves.

Each year I seem to tweak the recipe just a bit, so my current recipe is quite a bit different than the original recipe I began with all those years ago - but's it's always well received.


(scroll down for printable recipe card)

Pumpkin Spice Swirl Cheesecake with Candied Walnuts


For the Cheesecake

4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1-1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies (about 24- 2" round cookies)
4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or an equal amount of vanilla extract)
3 large fresh eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and set a teakettle full of water to boil.

Butter a 9" spring form pan and wrap two layers of foil around the outside.

Combine the butter and gingersnap crumbs, stir to coat evenly and press them into the bottom of the pan.

Chill until ready to use.

With a stand mixer (I love my KitchenAid!) on medium-low, beat the cream cheese, granulated sugar and cornstarch until smooth.

Beat in the sour cream and vanilla bean paste, and then the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Pour half the batter into a medium bowl and set aside.

Into the remaining batter mix the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, molasses and spice.  Set aside one cup of the pumpkin batter.

Spread half of the pumpkin batter over the crust.


Top that with half the plain batter, then the remaining half of pumpkin batter and the remaining plain batter to make layers.

Dot the reserved cup of pumpkin batter over the top and with a toothpick swirl the batters to create your design.

Place the cheesecake in a large roasting pan and fill the pan partway with boiling water, making sure not to fill above the foil.

(The water bath will keep your cheesecake from drying out, splitting or cracking on top).

Bake the cheesecake for about an hour and 10 minutes, or until the center of the cheesecake jiggles only slightly when you gently tap the side.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place on a wire rack.

Run a knife around the edge to loosen it and allow to cool.

When completely cooled, remove the side of the spring form pan and chill your cheesecake several hours (or overnight).

When ready to serve, garnish with candied walnuts (see recipe below) and whipped topping.













For the Candied Walnuts

1 cup walnuts (whole or pieces is fine)
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar

In a heavy cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the walnuts and brown sugar and toss to mix well.

Continue to cook, stirring constantly for several minutes, until the sugar caramelizes and the walnuts start to smell 'nutty'.

Remove the nuts to a piece of parchment paper to cool.

Remove the cheesecake from the fridge and garnish with the candied walnuts and some whipped cream just prior to serving.











NOTE:  Your chickens will love any leftover pumpkin puree. It's super healthy for them and the beta-carotene will make vibrant orange egg yolks!





Author:

Pumpkin Spice Swirl Cheesecake with Candied Walnuts

Pumpkin Spice Swirl Cheesecake with Candied Walnuts

prep time: cook time: total time:
Wow your guests this Thanksgiving season with my swirled pumpkin spice cheesecake.

ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies (about 24- 2" round cookies)
  • 4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or an equal amount of vanilla extract)
  • 3 large fresh eggs
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and set a teakettle full of water to boil. Butter a 9" spring form pan and wrap two layers of foil around the outside.
  2. Combine the butter and gingersnap crumbs, stir to coat evenly and press them into the bottom of the pan. Chill until ready to use.
  3. With a stand mixer on medium-low, beat the cream cheese, granulated sugar and cornstarch until smooth. 
  4. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla bean paste, and then the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Pour half the batter into a medium bowl and set aside.
  5. Into the remaining batter mix the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, molasses and spice. Set aside one cup of the pumpkin batter.
  6. Spread half of the pumpkin batter over the crust. Top that with half the plain batter, then the remaining half of pumpkin batter and the remaining plain batter to make layers. 
  7. Dot the reserved cup of pumpkin batter over the top and with a toothpick swirl the batters to create your design.
  8. Place the cheesecake in a large roasting pan and fill the pan partway with boiling water, making sure not to fill above the foil. (The water bath will keep your cheesecake from splitting or cracking on top).
  9. Bake the cheesecake for about an hour and 10 minutes, or until the center of the cheesecake jiggles only slightly when you gently tap the side. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edge to loosen it and allow to cool.
  10. When completely cooled, remove the side of the spring form pan and chill your cheesecake several hours (or overnight). When ready to serve, garnish with candied walnuts (see recipe below) and whipped topping.

NOTES:

For the Candied Walnuts

1 cup walnuts (whole or pieces is fine)

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons brown sugar


In a heavy cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the walnuts and brown sugar and toss to mix well.

Continue to cook, stirring constantly for several minutes, until the sugar caramelizes and the walnuts start to smell 'nutty'.

Remove the nuts to a piece of parchment paper to cool.

Remove the cheesecake from the fridge and garnish with the candied walnuts and some whipped cream just prior to serving.
Created using The Recipes Generator



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