Here's what's left. It worked!! It was scrumptious, too, if I might say so myself! The only thing that was slightly disappointing was how thin it was. You know when you go to the Olive Garden and it's like 4 inches tall!? Yeah, mine's like one. But it was still good! I may someday try to double the recipe, but that would mean doubling cooking time, blah, blah, so I'm not gonna mess with it yet.
It's quite a process, but worth it in the end. Here's the recipe first:
Pumpkin Cheesecake Dessert (from The Taste of Home Cookbook)
3/4 c. finely chopped walnuts
3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 c. melted butter
2 pkgs (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened (I left it out at room temp. for about 30-45 min)
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
2 tblsp chopped walnuts
1. Place the graham crackers in a Ziploc and crush/roll over with a rolling pin (this was fun, if you need to release some stress, just pound away!). In a small bowl, combine walnuts, cracker crumbs, sugar, and spices; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 10 in. tart pan with a removable bottom. (I used a spring form pan, and now that I am re-reading this it's called Pumpkin Cheesecake "Dessert" so that may have something to do with it's size).
2. For filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined (if you beat too much air in at this point it will puff up and fall while cooking). Add pumpkin and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon; beat on low speed just until combined.
3. Pour into crust; sprinkle with walnuts and remaining cinnamon. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost done. Cool on a wire rack for 1-1 1/2 hours. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 9-12 servings.
Upon reading the instructions in the cookbook and on the back of the insert in the pan I bought this is what I did: I placed a cake pan filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven. I left it there while the cheesecake cooked for the 40 minutes. When the timer went off, I opened and checked it, and turned the oven off. I left both the water and the cheesecake in the oven for the 1 and 1/2 hours directed. I then took it out of the oven with no crack in sight and placed it into the refrigerator, where it sat until I served it 5 hours later. That is when I took the ring off the spring form pan. Like I said, since it says "dessert" in the title, this may have been beginners luck! But oh well! It was worth it...I think I'll go have a leftover piece now! Enjoy!