Better Than Pumpkin Pie

 Pumpkin Cheesecake
YUMMY!

Next year I want you to forget about the traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Break away from tradition and try this pumpkin cheesecake. It’s to die for! Trust me, your family might even ask you to make it a new tradition! 
First, the crust. . .

After viewing several recipes and reading many reviews, I decided to make my crust from the ingredients above. Graham cracker crumbs, ginger snaps, pecans, and butter. Adjust measurements to your taste. I used more graham cracker crumbs  than cookies. I also decided to add about 2 Tbsp of sugar after tasting the mixture.
Place ginger snaps and pecans in food processor and process until finely ground so that it looks like the photo below.
Using a fork, combine graham cracker crumbs, cookie and nut mixture, melted butter and sugar.

Transfer to springform pan. Press firmly into the bottom, and about 1 inch up the sides of the pan.
That’s it! 
Now, the cheesecake. . .
Here are the ingredients.  Be sure your cream cheese has been sitting out for at least an hour to get nice and soft!
Beat softened cream cheese until creamy, about 3 minutes. PLEASE make sure your cream cheese is soft or your cheesecake will be lumpy. Also, learn from my mistake, use the whisk attachment for standing mixers to beat the cream cheese.

Add pumpkin, sugar, eggs, sour cream and spices and mix just until blended. Add flour and vanilla and continue to mix until well blended, stopping to scrape sides and bottom.

Pour batter into prepared crust. As you can see, mine is a little lumpy. I think this could have been prevented if had I used the wire whisk attachment. My cream cheese was definitely softened.

Bake in a 350 degree oven in or above a water bath. My springform pan would not fit into my water bath pan so I placed it underneath. This is supposed to prevent the cheesecake from cracking due to temperature changes during cooking and cooling.

Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Turn off oven and open oven door, leaving cheesecake on rack while oven cools then place pan on cooling rack. Once the cake is completely cooled, remove outer edge of pan. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

YUMMY!

  I combined a couple different recipes to make my own crust. The recipe is below. For the filling I followed Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe
Note: I did not follow this recipes directions for baking the cheesecake. After reading reviews I chose to bake using the water bath.

Graham/Ginger Snap Crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
10-12 ginger snap cookies
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 stick melted butter
1-2 Tbsp sugar
In a food processor, process ginger snaps and until finely ground. In a bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, cookie and nut crumbs, butter, and sugar with a fork until combined. Transfer to springform pan. Press into the bottom, and about 1 inch up the sides of the pan.