Thursday, October 20, 2011

10/21 National Pumpkin Cheesecake

By Diane Forrest

It's October, and one of the things this month brings to mind is Pumpkins!   Raise your hand if you grew up waiting in the pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin with Linus and Charlie Brown.  I know I did.  Some friends of mine recently took their grandchildren to a pumpkin patch where they had pumpkins everywhere, and each of them received their very own.  They also had other family oriented activities which made for a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I recently had to take a trip to Jackson, and decided to stop for lunch at the Olive Garden.  I love Itallian food, and couldn’t wait to dig into the menu to see what wonderful dishes they had.  When I opened the menu, the first thing I saw was a huge picture of Pumpkin Cheesecake!  Well that reminded me that National Pumpkin Cheesecake day was soon approaching, and today is that day!

Below is a recipe from Paula Dean for Pumpkin Cheesecake, it is a very easy recipe, but requires about 4 hours of refrigeration after baking, so if you want to eat it for supper, make sure you make it early in the day.  If you don't have time to bake your own, stop by the Olive Garden, its a great opportunity to celebrate pumpkin cheesecake, and you sure don’t want to waste it!

Paul Dean's Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick melted salted butter

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For crust:
In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon.
Add melted butter.
Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

For filling:
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.

Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours

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