Mrs. Parish’s Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Many, many years ago, I had Christmas Eve dinner at the home of my friend’s parents. Mrs. Parish served the most delicious pumpkin cheesecake! Since then, I have been making this cheesecake every year for Thanksgiving or Christmas! I believe it is okay to indulge once in a while, but I try to make it “healthier” by using reduced fat cream cheese and organic ingredients when possible.

Crust:

  • 1 cup ginger snap crumbs (approximately 18 cookies)
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons melted organic butter

To make ginger snap crumbs, put some cookies in a plastic bag. Using a rolling-pin, crush the cookies. Repeat until you have 1 cup of crumbs. Mix ingredients together well, so that the crumbs are “moist.”  Pat the crumbs down evenly on the bottom of a greased 9″ springform pan. Bake until brown at 325 degrees. Cool crust.

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1½ (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon organic sugar
  • ½ teaspoon organic vanilla
  • 1 organic egg

Whip the cream cheese and the sugar together. Add vanilla and egg to the cream cheese mixture and beat. Pour the mixture on the cooled cookie crust and spread evenly.

Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) organic pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Dash of sea salt

Mix all ingredients together and pour on top of cream cheese mixture. Bake at 325 degrees for 1½ hours. Baking time may vary from oven to oven. Be careful not to over bake the pumpkin custard. To try to prevent cracking, turn heat off while the center is still “jiggly.” Leave cheesecake in the oven to let it cool down slowly for about 15 to 20 minutes with the oven door slightly open. Then take out of oven to finish cooling.

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