Inspired by the Thanksgiving episode of “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on Food Network, I decided that I would make a layered sweet potato cheesecake for Thanksgiving dinner. I searched the internet for a recipe that included the layers because for some reason I thought that was really important in this being an OhMyGosh cheesecake and not just a cheesecake. I couldn’t really find anything that seemed to be grand enough for Thanksgiving dinner so I decided to do what I usually do…use a recipe as a “suggestion” and go from there. I found two recipes that seemed promising and combined them to use as my starting point. I made some minor changes that included features that were of notable mention in the episode of the show that started this whole quest.
This is what I came up with:
Layered Sweet Potato Cheesecake
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine — melted
- 3 (8 ounces each) pkgs cream cheese — room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 cups sweet potatoes(roasted fresh sweet potatoes or canned sweet potatoes)
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups sour cream — room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
Crust: Combine crumbs, sugar, and butter in bowl. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up on sides of 9 inch springform pan. Bake at 350° for 6 to 8 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Remove from oven and cool.
Cheesecake: Beat room temperature cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, and milk in a large bowl or cream together in a food processor (I use the food processor) until smooth and shiny. Pour about a third of this mixture into springform pan. Add sweet potatoes, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat well until sweet potatoes are smooth with no lumps. Pour remaining mixture into crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until edge is set.
Topping: Combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Spread over warm cheesecake. Return to 350° oven and bake 5 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 1 hour. Remove side of pan and chill overnight.
*When I wrote this recipe I originally listed this next step as optional, but after seeing the final product I am no longer considering it an option. It is beautiful and tastes DELISH!
Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter or margarine in a heavy small saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Stir in one cup chopped pecans. Let cool and crumble over top of cheesecake just after removing it from the over for the final time.
Leave cream cheese out for at least 3 hours before starting. If it still has any chill at all, put it in the microwave for a minute. If the temp is even slightly cold, your cheesecake will be lumpy and gross.
Baking your cheesecake in a water bath is not necessary. I have made lots of cheesecakes and have never noticed a difference one way or the other.
This recipe could be easily adapted to pumpkin, or really any other flavor you want. I am thinking that next time I will do this with peanut butter!
Don’t be afraid to try to make cheesecake! It’s not as hard as you think. And even if it fails to set up and ends up a gooey mess, it’s still cheesecake! Grab a spoon and get at it!