This was in the October 29,2008 Food section of the Houston Chronicle and was proclaimed "holiday worthy"! Preparation time does not include chill time.
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, melted (divided use)
- 2 1⁄2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 3⁄4 cups sugar (divided use)
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus
- 1 pinch salt (divided use)
- 2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
- 1⁄4 cup sour cream
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 6 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups sweetened whipped cream
- 1⁄3 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
- Brush a 10 inch springform pan with some of the butter;stir remaining butter into graham cracker crumbs with 1/4 cup sugar and pinch salt.
- Press mixture into bottom and up sides of pan , packing it tightly and evenly.
- Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cool on rack, then wrap outside of springform pan with heavy duty foil and place in a roasting pan.
- Bring a medium pot of water to boil.
- Meanwhile beat cream cheese with a mixer until smooth; add remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar and beat until just light, scraping down sides of bowl and beaters as needed.
- Beat in the sour cream, then add pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, 1 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and beat until just combined; pour into cooled crust.
- Without pulling rack out, gently place roasting pan in oven and pour boiling water into roasting pan until it comes about halfway up side of springform pan.
- Bake until outside of cheesecake sets but center is still loose, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- Turn off oven and open door briefly to let out some heat.
- Leave cheesecake in oven for 1 more hour, then carefully remove from roasting pan and cool on a rack.
- Run a knife around edges of springform pan, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Bring cheesecake to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
- Unlock and remove springform ring.
- To finish, place a dollop of whipped cream on each slice and sprinkile with toasted pecans.