In keeping with the Thanksgiving recipe series, this week, we're talking side dishes (and later, dessert!). After all, the countdown to Turkey Day is on! For appetizer recipes and ideas or to see the rest of the series, click here.
Thanksgiving equals pumpkin. There's no arguing it. If it's Turkey Day, I'm gonna have me some type of pumpkin dessert. My mother used to make this pumpkin spice cake. It was delicious and moist. I made that a few times, too. However, by far my favorite dessert to make was the one I made three Thanksgivings ago and another Real Simple recipe. I love Real Simple, can't you tell? Their recipes are, after all, really simple. And not only is it an easy recipe, but getting it to look *just* like the magazine photo is easy, too! Plus, it was a total hit! Everyone loved it. I give you...pumpkin cheesecake!
TO MAKE THE CRUST, YOU NEED:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 14 graham crackers or you can buy graham cracker crumbs, which is what I did. Yes. I am that lazy.)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
TO MAKE THE FILLING, YOU NEED:
1 .25-ounce envelope unflavored gelatin
1 8-ounce bar cream cheese, at room temperature
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. First, preheat your oven to 400° F.
2. Then, in a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Stir using a spatula to coat crumbs.
3. Transfer to a 9-inch springform pan. Using a straight-sided dry measuring cup, press the crumbs into the pan and 2 inches up the side. When it gets tough, you can also use a spoon.
4. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes and let cool.
5. To make the filling, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup boiling water. Stir occasionally, until dissolved (about 5 minutes).
6. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the pumpkin, sour cream, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla.
7. Mix in the gelatin mixture until incorporated.
8. Pour the mixture into the crust and refrigerate, covered, until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Damn close to the magazine photo above, eh?
(Pumpkin Cheesecake Photo #1 by John Kernick via Real Simple; Pumpkin Cheesecake Photos #2 and 3 by me!)