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Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Chef Laurie Erickson

Canyon Ranch, www.canyonranch.com, Lenox, MA

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup graham crackers
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (for crust)
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg (for crust)
  • 1 lb Neufchatel cream cheese
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 whole eggs

Method:

Crust
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place graham crackers in a food processor and mix until finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl and add applesauce, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well.

Place graham cracker mixture in the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan, pressing firmly to cover bottom of pan.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Filling
Cream together the cream cheese, brown sugar and honey in a large mixing bowl. Add canned pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, milk, egg whites and eggs. Blend on a low speed of electric mixer until lump-free. (If mixture remains lumpy, pour into a blender container and puree until smooth.)

Reset oven to 300 degrees. Pour filling into baked pie crust and bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let sit for one more hour. Remove from oven, cool slightly and chill in refrigerator. Cut into 16 slices.