Pumpkin Cheesecake

November 9th, 2007

If this doesn’t sound decadent, I don’t know what would. But, more importantly, it’s a prepare-ahead dessert. So crucial. After appetizers and wine and a full dinner, who wants to put effort into serving dessert? Enter the pumpkin cheesecake, which you cleverly prepared the night before your dinner party. Add some vanilla ice cream, and everyone goes home happy.

I used neufchatel cheese, rather than cream cheese, because I can’t help myself, I have to make everything just a little bit healthier. I guarantee none of my friends will notice. As a bonus, neufchatel is softer and much easier to cream together with sugar than regular cream cheese.

I haven’t tasted this yet, because it’s for my guests tonight, but I did try a little of the batter and it was wonderful. One thing you can’t see from the picture: it’s a double-layer cheesecake. The bottom layer is plain cheesecake filling, and the top layer is the yummy pumpkin cheesecake mixture that you see in the photo above. Hopefully this will look particularly impressive when I cut into it!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

2 8 ounce containers of neufchâtel cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
Graham-cracker crust (store bought)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Cream together the neufchatel cheese, sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one by one once the cheese is blended.
3. Pour one cup of the cheese mixture into the graham cracker crust, and spread evenly.
4. Blend the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves into the remaining batter. Spread in an even layer over the plain-cheesecake mixture.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, stop while filling is still slightly wobbly.
6. Refrigerate overnight, and serve!

Serves 6-8.

Tags: desserts · food

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