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Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

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Cheesecake is a fickle creature indeed but at it’s peak, always worth the effort. Here you will find a few tips to aid in knocking the socks off family and friends around the table this Thanksgiving. Oh, and be sure to really butter the bottom and sides of your spring-form pan to avoid a sticky mess.

  • DO NOT over beat those eggs.  Add 1 egg at a time and beat until just incorporated.
  • Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight before attempting to remove it from the pan.
  • Run a warm knife around the edges of the pan before removing it.  I hate when the sides stick!
  • DO NOT attempt to use cream cheese that hasn’t reached room temperature.  It WILL result in a clumpy mess that lacks the necessary smoothness of a good cheesecake.
  • Add a bit of flour to your cheesecake if you prefer it a bit denser.
  • If you aren’t going to do a topping, cook your cheesecake in a bath to avoid cracking on top.
  • If cracking occurs (the worst), add a whipped cream cheese topping to disguise it or add a pecan topping like this one.
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Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Prepare the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon.  Stir in the melted butter.  Firmly press crust into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch spring-form pan.  Bake the crust for 6 minutes and remove from the oven.
  2. Beat the cream cheese until fluffy; beat in sugars, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Add the eggs 1 at a time; lightly beat until just combined.  Lightly beat in the pumpkin and then, the flour.  Don’t over-beat!
  4. Pour the cheese mixture into the prepared crust.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Begin preparing pecan topping around 10 minutes before timer goes off.
  5. Prepare the topping by combining the pecans, brown sugar and butter.  Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the cheesecake.  Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in with the door closed for an additional 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Cover cheesecake and refrigerate in the pan overnight before.  

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