Pumpkin Cheesecake with an Amaretti Cookie Graham Cracker Crust

Pumpkin Cheesecake with an Amaretti Cookie Graham Cracker Crust


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Chef Allie Wolfe Phelps

Makes one 11” Cheesecake

This festive holiday dessert pairs wonderfully with Joseph Phelps Eisrébe, Napa Valley.  The amaretto flavored crust mingles with the apricot and honey notes, and the mellow spices of the filling are complimented by the luscious concentrated flavors of the wine. Amaretti cookies can be found in specialty Italian delicatessens and bakeries, and are individually packaged in beautiful, brightly colored wrapping.  This is the perfect Fall dessert to enjoy throughout the holiday season.


For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
(10) Individually wrapped amaretti cookies (or the equivalent of 2 cups of amaretti cookie crumbs)
3 ounces Tubinado sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 sticks melted salted butter

For the filling:
24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
¼ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For crust:
1.      If you haven’t already done so, pulverize the cookies and graham crackers using a food processor (you can also place the cookies and crackers in a Ziploc bag, and crush them into crumbs by whacking them with a large wooden spoon).
2.      In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon.
3.      Add melted butter, and use your hands to evenly saturate the crumbs with the butter.
4.      Empty into an 11” springform pan.  Use your fingers to press the crust down and up along the sides, creating a shell for the filling.
5.      Place the pan in the refrigerator until you’re ready to pour in the filling.

For filling:
1.      Using a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.
2.      With the mixer running on low, add the pumpkin, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and spices.
3.      Add the flour and vanilla. Mix on medium-high until airy and well combined.
4.      Pour the filling into crust.
5.      Spread out evenly and place the springform pan on a sided cookie sheet or casserole lined with parchment paper (some of the butter might seep out of the pan during the baking process).
6.      Place in the oven and bake for for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cheesecake jiggles slightly in the middle.  You may need to continue to bake a little longer.
7.      Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
8.      For service, carefully remove the outside of the springform pan.  Cut the cheesecake into wedges and serve with whipped cream.  Enjoy!