Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake (made in the slow cooker!)

At the risk of repeating myself, I love all things Fall.  I love the beautiful weather, the new shows on television, sweaters and boots, but especially, pumpkin!  This time of year, I go a little pumpkin nutty.  I put pumpkin in everything!  My coffee (of course), muffins, pancakes, syrup, gravy, everything.  But I think this is my favorite, pumpkin cheesecake!  It is creamy and wonderful and spiced just right.  The mixture of cream cheese and ricotta cheese makes it so delicious.  Bonus:  you make it in a slow cooker!  Seriously!  I saw a lady do this on T.V. and had to try it.  I changed the recipe up a bit (added pumpkin for starters) and it came out great.  The moist cooking environment keeps the cheesecake from cracking (like it can in the oven).  Here's how I did it:


1 cup ricotta cheese
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling! Plain pumpkin)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Zest of half an orange
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
pinch of salt
graham cracker crust (I buy the pre-made kind)

In a food processor (or stand mixer), puree the ricotta cheese until smooth (scrape down the sides as needed).  Add the cream cheese and process until smooth.  Add the sugar and process long enough so that it is not grainy (a minute or two).  Add the eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, orange zest, pumpkin pie spice and salt.  Process until smooth.

Place a bowl in your slow cooker.

Place a plate on top of the bowl.  This makes a stable surface for your cheesecake to sit on.  You don't want it directly on the bottom of the slow cooker.  It'll be too hot.

Place the crust on the plate.

Pour the batter into the crust.

Place a thick layer of paper towels (4 or 5) over the top of the slow cooker.  Don't let the paper towels touch the cheesecake.  The paper towels keep the condensation from falling down on to the cheesecake.

Put the lid on tight and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or until the cheesecake is set in the middle. (Don't keep lifting the lid to check on it!  Once you lift the lid, it takes a long time for the slow cooker to regain heat).

Let cool for 30 minutes then place in the fridge and chill.  I let it chill overnight, but it should be ok after a few hours.

All I can say is YUM!  If you like pumpkin pie, you will like this.  It's so creamy and spiced just right.  Plus, I just think it's cool that I made a cheesecake in the slow cooker.

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