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Thursday, October 27,2011

Walnut Crusted Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake

By Danette Randall

You knew it was coming.

Didn’t you? Or am I just convincing myself that you actually care about my pumpkin treats?

Or that every year I share my world famous cheesecake recipe containing … wait for it … pumpkin. Yes, pumpkin cheesecake is the recipe that I made on Live with Regis and Kelly, and it is still requested year after year after year.

Alright, so it is friends and family that request it, not Regis or Kelly, but still requested just the same. And they both did love it when I made it for them on the show, so that’s enough for me.

Now normally this would be a recipe I share closer to Thanksgiving, but because a pumpkin cheesecake was requested from a lovely reader of all things Dessert Diva (see, it isn’t only family requesting it, yay for me), I needed to oblige. So don’t be surprised if another cheesecake recipe pops up in a few weeks or so.

Anyway, the treat coming at you in this edition is Walnut Crusted Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake. Booo ya! It’s not the most creative use of pumpkin and cream cheese I have done, but it is what was wanted, and as I like to tell you over and over (just so you know how nice I am), I aim to please.

I use graham crackers in the crust along with the walnuts, but just the little addition of nuts really makes a hearty crust. The walnuts taste great with the pumpkin and spices, almost like they were grown all along specifically to pair with pumpkin. Some sour cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are to die for when mixed with the pumpkin puree.

Most cheesecakes are creamy, but this one just seems a bit more velvety and dreamy, so I had to add creamy in the title. You might just want to take a quick sponge bath in it before you bake it. No one will know, and think of how sweet and spicy you will smell, not to mention smooth as silk (or cream cheese).

Remember that you are smarter than the cheesecake. I know a lot of you get nervous about whipping up one, but if you take it nice and easy, and follow a few simple rules, such as having all ingredients at room temperature, and don’t beat it like it’s killed your kin, you will be just fine.

Now, follow the directions, put some love into it, and invite me over when it’s done.

Walnut Crusted Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped finely)
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
6 tbsp. butter (melted)

Filling

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese (softened)
1 (15-ounce can) pure pumpkin puree
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sour cream 3 eggs
1-1/2 tbsp. flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves

Preheat oven to 350. Wrap foil around 9-inch springform pan. Lightly grease bottom of foil. Place pan on baking sheet. In small bowl, combine crumbs, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and butter until crumbs are moistened. Press down, and slightly up sides of prepared pan. Bake for 5-6 minutes. Take out, set aside.

In large bowl (or food processor) beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla and sour cream. Add in eggs one at a time, and beat until smooth. Mix in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until just combined and batter is smooth. Pour batter over top of crust. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Edges will start to puff, and center will still jiggle. Take out and let cool for one hour on counter. Wrap with Saran and place in fridge for two to three hours or overnight. When ready to serve, place on serving platter and unlock springform latch. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into slices and serve with whipped cream. Enjoy!

Note: After you remove from oven, gently go around edge of cheesecake with sharp knife to loosen and to help prevent cracking.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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