This recipe combines two classics, pumpkin pie and cheesecake, and then takes both of them to a stratospheric new level of deliciousness by incorporating Pumpkin Spice peanut butter into the mix. The peanut butter acts like a flavor bridge between the earthy pumpkin and the rich, luxuriant cream cheese, forming a united front of fantastic fall flavor. This cheesecake provides a taste experience which will strike you as familiar and nostalgic, even while being a novel new flavor combination.
While a cheesecake this flavorful and rich really doesn’t require any accompaniment, if you decide a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream sounds appropriate, I’m certainly not going to intervene.
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes, plus cooling
Total time: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
For the Crust
1 1/2 cups crushed peanut butter cookies (graham crackers are fine, too)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Filling
3 (8-ounce) packages full-fat cream cheese, softened, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup Pumpkin Spice peanut butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup plain pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream or ice cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 9 or 10-inch springform pan. If you have any doubt at all about how airtight the seal is on your springform pan, put foil around the bottom and sides of the pan (this will protect the cheesecake later on when it is baked in a water bath).
2. In a medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, melted butter, and salt. Stir until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan, pressing it in firmly.
3. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned at the edges. Remove, and let cool while you prepare the next steps.
4. Make the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine one package of cream cheese and the cornstarch. Blend together on low speed for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer, and add the remaining two packages of cream cheese. Blend on medium-high this time until the mixture is very creamy and smooth, about 2 more minutes.
5. Stop the mixer and add the peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla. Mix on medium-low speed until combined and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Pause to scrape the sides of the bowl if needed.
6. Stop the mixer and add the pumpkin puree. Mix on medium-low speed until combined and no orange streaks remain, less than a minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
7. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each addition before adding the next. Pause to scrape the sides of the bowl with each addition.
8. Stir in the salt, stirring just long enough to ensure that it is incorporated.
9. Pour the mixture on top of the pre-baked bottom crust.
10. Place the springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 inch of hot water to the larger pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the center is just barely set, and the top has a dull appearance. Remove the springform pan from its water bath and transfer to a wire rack.
11. Let it cool for several minutes on a wire rack, then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen. Remove the foil (if applicable) and open the springform, so that the cheesecake rests on the bottom but you remove the springform ring. Cool until it has reached room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator to cool for several hours before serving.
Serve chilled, with whipped cream or ice cream on top (why not) if desired. This cheesecake will keep, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
PEANUT BUTTER GIVEAWAY
What other kinds of pumpkin spice dessert recipes would you like to see us make?
Leave a comment below with your answer to enter for a chance at winning a jar of of Pumpkin Spice peanut butter, the peanut butter used in this recipe.
– The giveaway is open to USA residents only and will run until Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST.
– One entry per person.
– Winner(s) will be generated via a random number generator and notified via the contact email provided on the comment form.
– Winner(s) will have until 9/9/15 to claim their prize or we will choose another winner.
– Winner will win one jar of Pumpkin Spice peanut butter. Product will be shipped by Peanut Butter & Co.
– No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age to enter. See Official Giveaway Rules.