Sharon Finley's Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
"This recipe has just become a tradition over the past 5 years, but it has become a must have for Thanksgiving."
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 3/4 cups sugar
2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups fresh pureed pumpkin (more or less on taste, 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin will work)
6 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brush a 10-inch springform pan with some of the butter.
Stir the remaining butter with the crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, packing it tightly and evenly.
Bake, on center rack, until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack, then wrap the outside of the springform pan with foil and place in a roasting pan.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar and beat until just light, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed. Beat in the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, 1 teaspoon salt.
Pour a 1 in (or so) layer in the crust, set aside.
Then add pumpkin and the spices to the cream cheese mixture and beat until just combined. Pour into the cooled crust.
Place the roasting pan in the oven and pour the boiling water into the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up the side of the springform pan.
Bake for about 1 hour 45 minutes, the outside of the cheesecake should be set but the center still loose.
Turn off the oven and open the door briefly to let out some heat. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 more hour.
Carefully remove from the roasting pan and cool on a rack.
Run a knife around the edges, cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
Bring the cheesecake to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
Unlock and remove the springform ring.