Healthified Pumpkin Cheesecake
25 gingersnap cookies, crushed
1 tablespoons Splenda brown sugar blend (or 2 tbsp brown sugar)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 8-ounce packages light cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup granulated sugar*
1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar blend*
1/4 cup Splenda brand artificial sweetner*
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup fat free half-and-half
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* if using all granulated sugar, use 1 2/3 cups
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Crush cookies in food processor with the 2 tbsp brown sugar. Pour into buttered 8-9 inch springform pan. Pour butter over cookie crumbs and stir until all are moistened. Press gently over the bottom of the pan and up the sides a bit. Bake 10 minutes in a 350°F oven.
While crust cools, beat 4 packages neufchatel (or light cream cheese) with the sugars and cornstarch until smooth (about 3 minutes in a stand mixer or 30 seconds in a food processor). Add vanilla then eggs, one at a time. Stir cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice) into pumpkin and add to mixture, beat until smooth. Taste and see if you need a little more cinnamon. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times. With the mixer (or food processor) running, slowly pour in half-and-half. Beat only until incorporated.
Pour cheesecake mixture into prepared crust. Bake about 1 hour at 350°F or until the center of the cheesecake just jiggles. Turn off oven and let cheesecake cool in closed oven for several hours.
You’ll notice I didn’t use a water bath. I have never managed to get the whole water bath thing to work with a springform pan. Not even a springform pan wrapped in aluminum foil. I don’t remember where I got this tip - but trust me, it was a reputable source. I wouldn’t fib. The reason most cheesecakes crack is that they’re overcooked. You have to turn the oven off before they look done and that’s hard to do. If you turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in there, by the time it is cooled (and then chilled) it will be solid and done. And it almost never cracks. Okay, sometimes it still cracks. Who cares if it does crack anyway?
Makes 12 servings
Pairs Well With
This is based on Junior’s Famous Cheesecake - the best recipe for a dense, New York Style cheesecake out there. Because I used both “normal” and artificial sugar in it, you may need to do a little tweaking to get the sweetness level you want. Or just use regular sugar.