1 ½ cups
gingersnap cookie crumbs, finely ground (about 30 small cookies from a 16 oz box)
regular or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened (8 oz each)
1 ¾ cups
canned pumpkin pie mix (half of a 29 oz can)
1 ½ tsp
pumpkin pie spice
eggs, room temperature
more granulated sugar (optional for a sweeter cheesecake)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with baking rack on lowest level.
Mix cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar together with a fork in medium bowl until crumbs hold together. Press crumb mixture firmly into the bottom and 1 to 2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch round tinplate or steel (not nonstick) springform pan. Bake 6 to 8 minutes until crust is set. Cool and set aside.
Add softened cream cheese to large bowl and beat on high speed with hand mixer, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. There should be no lumps.
Add additional sugar (if desired), pumpkin pie mix and pumpkin pie spice. Blend well with mixer on medium speed, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. With mixer still on medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one. With mixer on low, add cornstarch until just blended. Pour batter into prepared springform pan.
Bake in oven until edges are cooked and center jiggles slightly when side of pan is tapped, about 50 to 60 minutes. Do not overcook or cheesecake will crack (but it will still taste great).
Cool completely on cooling rack, about 2 hours. Cover top of springform pan with Saran™ Premium Wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Cheesecake will keep in refrigerator for up to 3 days. If freezing, cover top of pan with Saran™ Premium Wrap and freeze overnight. It will keep in freezer for up to 1 week. Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Keep chilled until serving.
Be sure to use canned pumpkin pie mix (which already contains sugar) and not canned pure pumpkin.
A 29-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix yields enough for two cheesecakes. Eat one and freeze one for later.
Springform pans are inexpensive, round baking pans with a clamp. The clamp allows you to remove the side and bottom so that you can easily take a cake or torte out of the pan. Traditional tinplate or steel springform pans are best for cheesecakes. Nonstick pans cause the cake to cook too fast and possibly burn.