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Pumpkin Cheesecake

Prep: 35 minutes plus chilling and cooling
Bake: 1 hour 35 minutes • Serves: 12

Graham Cracker Crust

1-1/4 cups PICS graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons PICS unsalted butter, melted (1/2 stick)
2 tablespoons PICS sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Pumpkin Filling

1 cup packed PICS light brown sugar
3 tablespoons PICS cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon PICS ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon PICS salt
3 packages (8 ounces each) PICS cream cheese, room temperature
6 PICS large eggs, room temperature
1-1/2 cups PICS 100% pure pumpkin
3/4 cup PICS sour cream, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons PICS vanilla extract
PICS whipped topping for garnish (optional)

1.Wrap exterior of 9-inch springform pan, including base, in double layer of aluminum foil. Place 17 x 12-inch rimmed baking pan on middle oven rack. Place springform pan inside rimmed baking pan. Fill rimmed baking pan halfway with hot water. Remove springform pan. Preheat oven to 325°.

2.Prepare Graham Cracker Crust: In springform pan, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar and ginger. Press crust mixture firmly onto bottom of springform pan. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

3.Meanwhile, prepare Pumpkin Filling: In small bowl, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. In large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat cream cheese 2 minutes or until smooth. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula. Gradually add brown sugar mixture and beat 2 minutes or until smooth; scrape bowl. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition 30 seconds or until combined; scrape bowl. Add pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla extract, and beat 1 minute or until combined.

4.Pour batter into springform pan over graham cracker crust. Carefully place springform pan in center of water-filled rimmed baking pan. Bake 1 hour 35 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes or until edges of cheesecake are set and center jiggles, rotating cheesecake halfway through baking. Run a small, sharp knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen. Remove foil and cool on wire rack 1 hour then refrigerate 3 hours or until cold. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove outer ring of springform pan. Cut cheesecake into slices and serve topped with whipped topping, if desired.

Approximate nutritional values per serving:
449 Calories, 29g Fat (17g Saturated), 193mg Cholesterol,
426mg Sodium, 36g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 9g Protein

Chef Tip:
Baking cheesecake in a shallow pan filled with water, also known as a water bath, ensures moist, constant, insulated heat and prevents the cheesecake from burning, drying out or cracking.