I can sometimes be very impatient. When we found out we were moving to Glasgow, but then had to wait five weeks, it drove me nuts. We’ve been in our new apartment three weeks now, and I get twitchy every time I think about all the stuff we don’t have yet. The start date for my new job got pushed back a week and a half. It’s taking every ounce of will not to pace up and down the living room, nervous with anticipation. When I figure out what I want, I want it now! I don’t like to wait. I don’t ask for much. It seems reasonable. It’s probably not.
Impatience can sometimes be a disaster in the kitchen, and I have to say, I’ve been guilty of this on multiple occasions. Especially with cheesecake. Cheesecake requires a lot of patience. You need to allow all your ingredients to come to room temperature. You need to mix everything together until it’s ultra smooth. You have to make a water bath and then let it cook for a long time. Then, and this is where I usually get in trouble, you have to let it cool very slowly to avoid cracks. I almost always fail at this. You can’t just throw that junk in the fridge straight out of the oven.
This time I was extremely patient. When the cheesecake was baked, I turned the oven off and opened the door for an hour to let it cool in the oven. Then I set it on the counter for an entire afternoon before putting it in the fridge over night. 24 hours later, I have a crack free Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake. I’m so proud.
I call this Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake because there are none of the typical spices you’d usually find in other pumpkin desserts. It’s got a distinct pumpkin flavor, and it’s not overly sweet. It’s the perfect holiday dessert to please those people in your family who aren’t massive sugar fiends. Oh, and normal people will like it, too. And since it has to be made the day before, it won’t get in the way of the rest of your meal prep.
I know I’ve probably just made cheesecake sound daunting, but I promise, the only special skill you need is patience. Just give it plenty of time to cool off, and you’ll be golden.
Take a deep breath, relax, and be patient. Good things, especially Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake, will soon be yours.
- 2 cups graham cracker or digestive biscuit crumbs
- 4 ounces butter, melted
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1-1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 eggs
- Juice of half a lemon
- To make your crumbs, pop your crackers or biscuits into a zip top bag, and bash them to bits with a rolling pin, or blitz them up in a food processor.
- Mix the crumbs and butter together until you have a moist, sandy mixture. Press this into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Stash it in the fridge while you get on with your filling.
- In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the pumpkin and cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar and beat to combine.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each one. Scrape down the sides of your bowl with a rubber spatula, then add in the lemon juice and give everything one last mix until everything is smooth.
- Put a kettle on to boil. Take your spring form pan out of the fridge and wrap the outside in two layers of foil to make sure no water can leak in. Pour and scrape the filling into the pan, then set it inside a roasting pan.
- Once your kettle has boiled, pull out the rack on your oven halfway, place your pans on the rack, and carefully pour your recently boiled water into the roasting pan until it comes halfway up the side of your spring form pan. Push the rack in, close the door, and let it bake for an hour and 45 minutes or until your cheesecake has just a slight wobble.
- When it's ready, turn off the oven and open the door. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for an hour or so, then let it sit on the counter for several hours until it's come to room temperature. Finally, chill it in the fridge over night.
- When you're ready to serve, carefully remove the collar of your spring form pan and slice with a clean knife. Reward yourself for your patience with a dollop of whipped cream.