Here's an extra note that will mean nothing to anyone else but me: "The little plate shown above is part of a dinnerware set that my mother bought for my older sister's wedding dinner in July of 1950-- therefore, it is special... to ME!" (This older sister and her husband will be celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary in July!)
WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THE CRUST:
- One "greased or sprayed" 9x13-inch baking pan or dish (I used glass)
- 2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs (about one and one-half wrapped sleeves?).
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- One pinch of salt IF you use UNsalted butter; add NO salt if you use salted butter.
DIRECTIONS FOR CRUST:
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
- Crush graham crackers into crumbs, or put into food processor until you have 2 cups of finely 'crumbed' crackers.
- Add sugar, mix in.
- Add melted butter and mix well (with a utensil, OR fingers).
- Add salt ONLY IF you used UNsalted butter.
- Dump this mixture into prepared pan/dish. Using the flat bottom of a glass, gently pack down into an even layer.
- Bake for exactly 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool for about 10 minutes.
- While the crust is baking/cooling, prepare the cheesecake part.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER:
- 4 of 8 oz. packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened.
- 1 cup sugar, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup portions.
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 eggs (large)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Dash (about 1/8 teaspoon?) ground cloves
DIRECTIONS FOR CHEESECAKE LAYER:
- Reduce oven temperature to 325-degrees.
- Beat cream cheese until very smooth (I use my food processor for this).
- Add just 3/4 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla to the cream cheese.
- Add eggs, ONE at a time, beating after each just until smoothly blended.
- Remove 1 and 1/2 cups of this batter and set aside.
- Stir remaining 1/4 cup sugar, canned pumpkin and spices into the remaining batter.
- Spoon half the pumpkin batter onto slightly cooled crust; top with spoonfuls of just HALF the plain batter. Repeat layers one more time. (You'll end up with layers of pumpkin batter, spooned on plain batter, pumpkin batter and then finishing with spoonfuls of plain batter.)
- By gently moving a thin knife (or thin dowel) through the batter, you'll create the 'SWIRLS'-- like this...
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until center is ALMOST set. Cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before cutting. Coming out of the oven, mine looked like this...
I made this yesterday afternoon, cooled it on the counter, then covered it with Saran Wrap and refrigerated it overnight. This was so easy to cut into these squares this morning...
Below: Because I wanted to share these with several friends, I put four squares into each of the little storage containers shown below. Just before covering them, I drizzled some caramel ice cream topping over them...
IF you make these, I hope you LIKE them!