Friendsgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake

Last weekend, my dear friend, Lauren, hosted a Friendsgiving feast. She and her husband made two (!) kinds of turkey, and we all brought sides/dessert to round out the meal.

I made two desserts: the apple cider donut holes that I’d previously made for the bonfire and turned out to be delicious, and a new recipe for me – pumpkin cheesecake.

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I used this recipe as my guide. It was a time intensive dessert to make, but I think the payoff was absolutely worth it.

One serious note of caution – do not turn this cheesecake while it is baking. Usually, I bake an item halfway, turn the item in the oven, then keep on baking. I wasn’t going to turn the cheesecake, but then at the last minute, I decided I would turn it to make sure it cooked evenly on both sides. The second I touched it, the middle part of the cheesecake sloshed around and boom – the perfectly smooth top was ruined! Ugh!

I hoped it would even back out in the final 30 minutes of baking, but no. It came out of the oven completely cracked on top. I didn’t take a photo. I was too distraught.

Dan came up with the idea to add whipped cream to the top to cover the ugliness. Sounded like a plan to me. We whipped up a cup of heavy whipping cream, adding a couple teaspoons of sugar, for sweetness. The morning of Friendsgiving, we topped the cheesecake with the whipped cream and let it set in the fridge for a bit. It worked, mostly. You could still see what happened once we cut up the cake to serve it. See that dip where the whipped cream goes down into the cake on the right? That’s the cake-turning crack.

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Still, the cheesecake turned out to be so very tasty, imperfections aside. There were a lot of steps to it – first making the crust, then letting it cool, then making the batter, then baking it, then letting it cool, then refrigerating it overnight, but the active time isn’t much more than with any other cake. I would absolutely make this cake again. It’s perfect for any fall event and is sure to get a great reaction.

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