By Jacqui McLean
I am not a fan of white chocolate, pumpkin, or cheesecake, but when you put them all together, it makes for the most delicious treat. Not only does it look detailed and festive, but it tastes and smells just as good. Every bite is creamy with just a small crunch from the crust. The ideal mouthful has a combination of the white chocolate and pumpkin swirl. I used to avoid the pumpkin, thinking it would ruin the cheesecake, however it only makes it better. This dish can be paired with numerous types of ice cream, however I recommend sticking with vanilla or pumpkin. I highly recommend you try this seasonal dish at the next family gathering, or even as a treat for yourself. The only downside of the cheesecake is how time consuming it is to make. Nonetheless, the finished product is definitely worth the wait.
Prepare this cheesecake ahead of time because it needs time to chill. Baking it in a water bath keeps it moist and creamy.
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)
1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, melted
2 (8-ounce) blocks fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur)
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces white chocolate, melted
3 large eggs
1-2 cups pumpkin pie filling
Preheat oven to 325
Combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Firmly press mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Wrap outside of the pan with foil. Arrange berries in the crust; set aside.
Place cheeses in a large bowl; beat at a mixer’s medium speed until smooth. Add 1 cup of sugar and the next 5 ingredients (1 cup sugar through chocolate); beat until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Divide the filling mixture in two. Stir the pumpkin pie filling into one of the mixtures.
Layer cheese mixture into prepared pan. Draw a knife through the filling to create marbling. Place cheesecake in a large shallow pan; add hot water to the pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Remove cheesecake from the oven; cool to room temperature. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.