Welcome! I'm a new Pittsburgher and mom who is untrained in both life and cooking, but that just makes them both more exciting!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Jake's family loves to tell the story about one Thanksgiving many years ago when his mom forgot to put sugar in the pumpkin pie.  His father describes that pie using the word "cardboard" which seems harsh, but has been backed up by everyone else in the family.  Evidently, sugar makes quite the difference in a pie (who knew!?).  I always listen to the story and laugh and think about how silly it is to forget sugar in a pie.  In any dessert, really.  Then came this dreaded cheesecake.  AFTER pouring the filling into the prepared crust, my dad decided to taste it and made no effort to hide his displeasure.  I forgot the stupid sugar!  And you best believe I wasn't about to remake the whole thing, so I (very delicately) poured the entire contents back into the mixing bowl, trying my best to scrape all of the filling without pulling any graham crackers from the pan.  I prayed to the pie gods that they would show mercy on the cheesecake that was made while far too tired. 

An hour later I went to pull my cheesecake out of the oven and it was raw.  I had the oven set at 300 degrees.  I just about cried.  Then I increased the temperature and cooked it until it seemed like it was done correctly (golden on the outside and almost set in the middle).  The pie gods smiled down and made it come out perfectly.  Everyone who came over to celebrate the holiday really loved it.  And if I couldn't screw it up after so many mistakes, then you probably can't either.  Give this recipe a try!  It could be served to guests or given as a holiday gift.  Think of how happy your neighbors will be.  :)

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust: 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs 3 tablespoons light brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 stick melted salted butter

Filling: 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk 1/4 cup sour cream 1 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust:

In a bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter. Press down flat and up the sides into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

For the filling:

Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar, and the spices. Add the flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.

Pour into the crust. Spread out evenly and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Source: Paula Deen

And for a laugh: Dan's photobomb.

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