Pumpkin Cheesecake

Anne & I baking pumpkin cheesecake from an actual pumpkin

I love the holidays!

Great food.

But being thousands of miles away from family at this time of year can be hard for me. Especially now with Carsen. I want him to play HORSE outside with his cousins and sit around the house playing Monopoly. I want to make him hot chocolate as he watches the Thanksgiving Day Parade in his pajamas or college football sitting next to his momma on the couch.

But we are in South Africa, where instead of snow and warming ourselves by the fire, it's summer and we go to the ocean to cool off.

To get into the holiday spirit, I'm baking my famous pumpkin cheesecake, a recipe that's been in our family for years. I've tried to bring "home" wherever I am in the world on Thanksgiving by baking this delicious dessert. It's turned into my very own special tradition.

Check out these two posts from Thanksgiving 2010: Thanksgiving in Hawaii Part 1 and Part 2.

And today, I'm super excited to share this recipe with you! If you are looking for a last minute dessert to wow your guests or take to a party, this is it! I guarantee you and your cheesecake will be the hit of any Thanksgiving festivities.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Yields: Two GRAHAM CRACKER pie crusts [Take one to the party and save one for morning coffee!]

- 3 packages [8oz. each] cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 3/4 cups [16oz can] solid packed pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- 5oz can evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Beat cream cheese, sugar and brown sugar in large mixing bowl until fluffy.
3. Then beat in pumpkin, eggs and evaporated milk.
4. Add cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg; beat well.
5. Pour into crust.
6. Cook for 55-60 minutes or until edge is set.

- 2 cups [16oz carton] sour cream at room temperature
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla

**These topping measurements make just one; you need to double the topping since the filling makes two cheesecakes.**

1. Return oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla into small bowl.
3. Mix
4. Spread over surface of warm cheesecake.
5. Bake another 5 minutes.
6. Cool on wire rack.
7. Chill several hours or overnight.

I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving treat as much as I do! Now head to the store, unlike thawing a turkey, there is still time to bake!