About this recipe: This is a cross between pumpkin pie and cheesecake. Both layers are wonderfully spiced. There's a digestive biscuit base, a plain cheesecake layer, then a pumpkin cheesecake layer on top.
Don't overbake: While it may look underdone, a cheesecake is actually done when the centre is still wobbly. Residual heat 'carries over' and the centre continues to cook once out of the oven.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool on a rack, or simply leave the oven door closed, turn off the heat and let the cheesecake cool undisturbed for at least 1 hour. This helps prevent the cheesecake from sinking in the centre. After chilling, the once-wobbly centre should firm up beautifully!
Bake in a water bath: The most effective way to bake a cheesecake evenly without browning the top is to bake in a water bath. Since water evaporates at boiling point, the water bath will never get hotter than 100C, no matter the oven temperature. This means that the outer edge of your cheesecake won't bake faster than the centre, which can cause it to sink and crack.
Mixing matters: Make sure your cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature before mixing, or you'll end up with lumps in your cheesecake. If you do end up with lumps in the batter, give it a quick spin in the food processor for silky smooth results.
Don't forget to chill: A cheesecake needs several hours to chill and set, making it a perfect make-ahead dessert.
You can find tinned or jarred 100% pumpkin puree online or in specialty shops. You can also make your own with this easy recipe.
For more easy tips on how to make a perfect cheesecake, check out our Perfect cheesecake tips how-to guide.
This cheesecake tasted just like the pumpkin cheesecake we used to serve at a 5 star restaurant in washington d.c. years ago. Their head pastry chef made it every fall to run through the holidays. I did have to make a few changes to make this recipe more of a creamy cheesecake that most people are used to. I used 3 8oz packages of cream cheese instead of 2, added 1/2 cup of sour cream (Fold the sour cream in after adding the eggs), and increased the pumpkin puree to 1 8oz can. I also had to adjust the spices a bit for my taste (added 1 tbls of spiced rum to the pumpkin mixture and a bit more nutmeg and cinnamon). I baked this in a water bath at 350 for 1 hr (till the middle jiggles like jello), then turn off the oven, prop the door open and let the cheesecake sit for another hour, I promise you it will not crack at all. I used a 10in springform pan and a shortbread cookie crust. I used one of the caramel sauce recipes from this web site and poured it over the cheesecake to give it a caramel glaze like the one at the restaurant had. It was fabulous!!! I took it to work, went to answer the phone, came back 10 minutes later and the whole cheesecake was gone!!! I couldn't believe it!! Now I have to make another one so my boyfriend can get a piece. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!!!!!!!! - 03 Oct 2005 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
Revamping this review ---- I've been making this recipe since Thanksgiving of 2002. Since then, its made its way to work potlucks, holiday dinners, and various gatherings I've attended. I always like to find shortcuts in the kitchen and these are the few alterations I've made to this recipe. First, instead of using the pumpkin puree and all the spices...I simply used a can of pumpkin pie filling...Libby's or the cheap store brand (which i used). 3/4 cup. Make sure your cream cheese is room tempture. It blends better. I used 1/2 cup + 2 tbs sugar. 1 tsp vanilla. And also 1/2 tsp cinnamon. I carefully layered 1 1/2 cup of the cream cheese mixture on the bottom of the crust. Then added the pumpkin mixture on top carefully. Make sure your crust is not cracked or out dated when you get it from the store. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 50-55 mins or until center of pie is set (center will spring back when touched). Thanks to Stephanie for a wonderful recipe. - 03 Dec 2002 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
Instead of buying pumpkin puree, I bought pumpkin pie filling that has all if the spices already in it (the puree doesn't). So, if you don't have all of those spices seperate listed in the recipe, you don't have to buy them just to make this pie. The can of pumpkin pie filling is quite big and you won't use the whole thing (I used 3/4 Cup), but it can be frozen for three months or kept in the fridge for upto a week. I didn't have a graham cracker crust on hand, I used a 9in DEEP pie shell and it turned out good and completely filled that shell up. I cooked mine for about 55-60 minutes before it was done. One last thing, on the plain cream cheese layer you put on the bottom, I used a little over a cup of that to make it more pronounced so you could see it better when it was cut..I think you could even go 1 1/2 cups and it would be fine if you want more of a cream cheese flavor. I took this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit. My mom said all she wanted for Christmas was another pie all for herself! - 30 Oct 2002 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)