Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake—Prototype 10:
The quest is on for a more stable pumpkin cheesecake! More xanthan gum is used in this latest one, and the baking times are increased for both the batter and the crust. But a new approach for pumpkin cheesecakes is utilized as well—two-installment baking for the batter!
3-Cheese Blend (3CT-1NC-2YG):
Prepare ahead of time 16 ounces of yogurt cheese, derived from one 32-ounce container of nonfat yogurt. If the resulting yogurt cheese falls below 16 ounces, add back enough of the whey (that was strained out from the yogurt) to make up the difference. To this yogurt cheese combine 24 ounces of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese and 8 ounces of softened Neufchatel cheese ("light cream cheese").

Grease a 9 1/2" (or 9") springform pan, but do not wrap foil around it yet (see below).

2 oz. melted, white chocolate
4 oz. pumpkin butter (such as from Trader Joe's)
8 oz. (1 cup) 3-cheese blend (see above)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. All-Bran, ground up

Place the resulting mixture in the greased pan and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 20 minutes (if the crust is extremely thick however, closer to 15 minutes might be sufficient—on the other hand, the mixture is a lot more likely to be thin enough to require a good 20 minutes), then cool enough to comfortably touch at least the pan's upper sidewall.

1 cup granulated sugar
40 oz. (5 cups) 3-cheese blend (see above)
14 oz. pumpkin butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
6 eggs

Wrap the pan in foil just before adding the batter (to minimize the foil's disturbance and therefore its leakage risk, do not put it on any earlier).

Next, carefully pour about 2/3 of this batter over the crust and place the pan in a hot water tub and bake in oven at 300 degrees for 85 minutes (if using a 9 1/2" pan). Afterwards, remove this from oven and carefully add the remaining 1/3 batter on top of the earlier installment. Return all this to oven and continue baking at 300 degrees for another 95 minutes. Then shut off oven and cool cheesecake down while still in it (and in tub), with door slightly ajar, for an hour. Next, remove the pan of cheesecake from oven and tub and (at this point, add a border of chips—such as pumpkin-flavored—if desired) continue to cool down at room temperature for another two hours, then remove the cheesecake from its pan and refrigerate.

Pumpkin Cheesecake—Prototype 10

If the border decoration seems to have a somewhat weird look to it (looking somewhat like teeth to me!), that is because I used a new product from Nestlé, "Pumpkin Spice Flavored Filled Baking Truffles". I had used regular pumpkin chips in the past (with that more familiar, bulging-cone-like shape), but I more recently was hard-pressed to find them. So I gave these new pieces a try. But I wasn't crazy about their slightly rounded bottoms. I missed the flatness of the chips used previously.

However, I did not miss the mushiness of the past. The stability for this cheesecake was a great improvement with this prototype! This multiple-installment baking approach may have been the biggest difference-maker here. Come to think of it, I had used this method to various degrees in my banana cheesecakes in the past, but I didn't give that much thought in more recent times.

I brought this cheesecake to my cousin Joanne and Jerry's house for Thanksgiving in 2019.

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