This very light and airy cheesecake is paired with a rich dark chocolate and pumpkin seed crust. The sour cream topping not only adds an amazing tangy flavor, it helps cover up any cracks that may form when the cheesecake is baking and cooling. Releasing the spring on the pan before the cheesecake has had much time to cool allows the crust to shrink along with the cheesecake and helps prevent large cracks. Store loosely wrapped, in the refrigerator, for up to five days.
- Yield: 12 Servings
- 24 chocolate wafer cookies
- 1¼ cups toasted hulled pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup packed light-brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- ¾ cup pure pumpkin purée
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature, divided
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place the cookies and pumpkin seeds in a food processor. Process until finely ground. Add the brown sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter. Process until the mixture comes together. Press the crust into the bottom and three quarters of the way up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Beat the cream cheese and ¾ cup of granulated sugar with an electric mixer until light, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, 2 tablespoons of sour cream, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Beat to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition to fully incorporate. Pour the mixture into the crust.
- Bake until the cheesecake has set around the edges but is still slightly wobbly in the center, 55 to 65 minutes.
- Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 cup of sour cream in a bowl. Spread over the cheesecake, leaving a ½-inch border. Cook until set, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool for 5 minutes. Slowly release the spring on the pan to release the crust. Cool to room temperature then chill completely.