Another recipe from the California Pizza Kitchen cookbook. This is slightly time consuming, but well worth the effort! The top of my cheesecakes always crack, so to disguise the fact, I always top them with piped freshly whipped cream! :o)
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a food processor. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, pour the melted butter through the feed tube and process just until mixture forms a soft mass.
Remove from processor and firmly press into the base of a 9-inch springform pan, spreading evenly.
To make the cheesecake:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment, beat the cream cheese until soft, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add the brown sugar and continue beating until thoroughly incorporated and creamy.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat until thoroughly combined, stopping to scrape down the bowl.
In the same way, beat in the sour cream and then, one at a time, the eggs, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and pumpkin and beat to combine.
Pour filling into prepared pan and place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 1 hour. Test for doneness by gently moving the pan to see if the center has firmed up-a sign that it is done. If still slightly liquid leave in the oven for up to another 20 minutes to set up.
When done cool to room temperature then refrigerate overnight before removing sides of pan.