Celebrate Fall With 30 Days of Pumpkin Recipes! Day 1: Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

picture courtesy of bettycrocker.com

September has arrived. Yes, it is hotter than ever where we live in California. But heck, my favorite season is almost here (officially, Fall starts on Sept.22) and I want to celebrate now! So what better way than to gather all the yummy pumpkin recipes together that I can find, and post them over the next 30 days? After all, pumpkins and fall just go together, kind of like mittens and winter, don't ya think?

So here is the first of many recipes to come, hope you enjoy (p.s., not all of these will be desserts, don't ya know!)

30 Days of Pumpkin Recipes:  Day 1 - Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is a tried and true Betty Crocker Recipe, and it is decadently delicious. Very. Decadent

Ingredients:

The pie crust.(I admit, I cheat. I buy the crust already made. I know. But they are really good and no one seems to mind in my family, so...)

If you want to make your pie crust, then you will need 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs and 1/4 cup softened butter or margarine.

For The Cheesecake:

4- 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin (do not use the canned pumpkin pie mix though)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

For the crust:
Heat oven to 300°F. Grease 9-inch  pan with shortening or cooking spray. Wrap foil around pan to catch drips. In small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and butter. Press crumb mixture in bottom and 1 inch up side of pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes.

For the pie:

In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed just until smooth and creamy; do not overbeat. On low speed, gradually beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Spoon 3 cups of the cream cheese mixture into pan; spread evenly.

Stir pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg into remaining cream cheese mixture; mix with wire whisk until smooth. Spoon over mixture in pan.

Bake 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until edges are set but center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved.

Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven; place on cooling rack. Without releasing side of pan, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. 

Cover loosely; refrigerate at least 6 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake again; carefully remove side of pan. Place cheesecake on serving plate. (Store left-over cheesecake covered in refrigerator.)

Enjoy!

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