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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brown Butter Gingersnap Crust

This pumpkin cheesecake is the perfect fall dessert. Add it to your Thanksgiving menu, it is guaranteed to be a hit.
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients
  

For the crust:

  • 6 tablespoons  Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter
  • 2 cups ground gingersnap cookies
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the pumpkin cheesecake:

  • 4 8 oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons  vanilla extract

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream chilled
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with 3 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil.
  • Cut the butter into tablespoons. Place in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. The butter will foam and pop, so be careful. Continue to swirl the pan often. Remove pan from heat once the butter starts to brown and smells nutty. There will be small brown bits on the bottom. The butter should be an amber color.
  • In a medium bowl, combine brown butter, gingersnap cookie crumbs, and sugar. Stir until evenly moistened. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust until deep golden, about 10-12 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F and set the crust aside to cool.
  • Fill a teakettle with water and put on the stovetop. Bring water to a boil.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and no lumps remain, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks and beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the pumpkin and beat until incorporated. Add the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the cheesecake mixture. Add the rest of the egg whites and fold gently.
  • Pour the filling into the cooled crust and place the pan into a large roasting pan. Place the pan into the oven and quickly pour the hot water from the teakettle into the roasting pan so that it comes up about 1 1/2 inches up the foil-wrapped springform pan.
  • Bake for 80-90 minutes or until the cheesecake is set on the sides and moves slightly in the center when the pan is shaken. Carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place back in the warm oven. Turn off the oven and crack open the oven door. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for one hour.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the oven and use a paring knife to loosen the sides of the cheesecake from the pan. Let the cheesecake continue to cool to room temperature. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 8 hours before serving. I like to make it the day before serving.
  • When ready to serve, make the whipped cream. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. With the whisk attachment, beat until thick. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until medium to stiff peaks form.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator. Run a paring knife along the edge of the pan once more before removing the sides from the pan. Garnish with whipped cream and serve!
  • Note-the cheesecake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I highly recommend making it the day before serving. Garnish with whipped cream right before serving. You can also freeze the cheesecake, without the whipped cream, for up to 1 month.