With all the pumpkin proliferation that erupts at the tail end of summer this is a recipe that might stand out from the orangey crowd.
I was a little leery about baking a sour cream topping but I was reminded that folks in these parts don’t mess around with sour cream. Go on – feel the force – the sour cream worked and made a nice topping for the cheesecake.
I don’t recall eating cheesecake until the 80s, when I dove fork first into a Sara Lee cheesecake. With origins to the 1940s Sara Lee cheesecake had been my north star for what a cheesecake should be. Nowadays baking a homemade cheesecake is simply worth the extra love.
❤ The amount of graham crackers caused some intense discussion in our household. We netted out that “18 double graham crackers” actually meant 18 sheets of 4-up crackers, which is 72 total crackers not 36. I guess in the golden days a single cracker was assumed to be a 2-up cracker whereas today it would likely be considered 2 separate crackers.
❤ Make sure your spring form pan is well seated and sealed. Mine leaked a little bit in the oven which I solved by placing a pan underneath to catch any drips. After a few minutes baking the cake had set and all was good!
❤ You definitely do not want to over bake your cheesecake. Over baking will likely form cracks through and on the top resulting in a dry vs. moist end result. I’m reminded that the creamiest cheesecake I ever had was the one we water bathed in our oven. To do so we just wrapped the bottom of the springform pan with foil and placed it in a small pan of water while it cooked. The extra moisture will treat you to an amazingly moist cheesecake. I’ll try this method on the next go of this recipe!
Prep: About 1.5 hours, including 30 minutes for prep and 1 hour for baking. Most people prefer their cheesecake chilled, so cooling it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight is recommended!
18 sheets (72 total) | graham crackers, crushed and divided
1 cup (2 sticks) | butter, melted (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted onFalfurrias)
3 (8 ounce) packages | cream cheese
1 ½ cups | sugar
4 | cage free eggs, separated and beaten
15 ounce can | pumpkin
2 teaspoons | ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon | ground ginger
½ teaspoon | ground cloves
for the topping:
1 pint (16 ounces) | sour cream
4 tablespoons | sugar
1 teaspoon | vanilla
iii. What To Do
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
2. Crush the graham crackers in a bowl by hand or you can place them in a Ziploc bag, seal, and crush with a rolling pin or simply by hand. Mix the butter into the crumbs and press it into the bottom of a spring form pan. Reserve enough of the crumbs to cover the top in step 8 below.
4. Hand fold-in the egg whites.
5. Pour everything into the spring form pan and bake for ~25 minutes at 375°F. I was using my gas oven and needed to add an additional 10-15 minutes for the cake to set.
7. While the cake is cooling lets make our topping by hand-stirring together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Pour this mixture on top of the cheese cake and return it to the oven to bake for 5 minutes at 475°F.
8. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, sprinkle on the remaining (reserved) buttery graham cracker crumbs from above and let it cool. I let my cheesecake rest on the bottom of the springform pan insert and chilled it in the fridge for a few hours until we were ready to cut it into slices and enjoy it!
Yield: About 8-16 slices, depending on how hungry you are.
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook