Thursday, September 01, 2005

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Source: Cooking Light, December 2000

Cheesecakes are best when they're made ahead of time. You can prepare this one up to three days before the party; just cover and chill it until time to serve.

56 reduced-fat vanilla wafers (about 8 ounces)
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, melted
Cooking spray

3 (8-ounce) blocks fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 (8-ounce) blocks
1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of allspice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare crust, place wafers in a food processor; pulse 2 to 3 times or until finely ground. Add butter; pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes; cool on a wire rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

To prepare filling, beat cheeses with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add the granulated sugar and next 8 ingredients (granulated sugar through vanilla), beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin; beat well.

Pour cheese mixture into prepared crust; bake at 325° for 1 1/2 hours or until almost set. (Cheesecake is done when the center barely moves when pan is touched.) Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool to room temperature; cover and chill at least 8 hours.

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

NUTRITION PER SERVING: CALORIES 256(34% from fat); FAT 9.8g (sat 5.3g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 11.4g; CHOLESTEROL 86mg; CALCIUM 172mg; SODIUM 479mg; FIBER 1.4g; IRON 1.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 29.3g

My notes: I like to combine this recipe with the topping and crust of this other cheesecake from Cooking Light: Pumpkin-Streusel Cheesecake. I like the filling of this cheesecake best (it creates a thicker and denser filling, more like a full-fat cheesecake), but I like the addition of ginger snaps in the streusel cheesecake. Another nice thing about the gingersnap topping is that it hides the unsightly cracks in the cheesecake that are hard to avoid.

I talked about this recipe HERE.

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