Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake—Prototype 4:
With the arrival of October (to me the pumpkin month), it was time for me to update my pumpkin prototypes with some yogurt cheese, just like I had done on other flavors earlier in 2012. In light of the popularity of whipped cream being served with pumpkin pies, I made a late decision to add vanilla to the pumpkin cheesecake's batter.

It has also more recently come to my attention that the crust's layer for many of my cheesecakes was too thick, relative to the batter's layer. So for this prototype, I cut the amount of crust nearly in half.
2-to-1 Blend of Yogurt Cheese and Cottage Cheese:
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 8 ounces (1 cup) of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese.

1 oz. melted, white chocolate
2 oz. pumpkin butter (such as from Trader Joe's)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz. (1/2 cup) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
1.1 oz. Bran Buds, ground up

Pour this crust mixture into pan (9 to 9 1/2 inches) and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 5 minutes, then cool enough to comfortably touch at least the pan's upper sidewall.

2 tablespoons melted or softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
7 oz. pumpkin butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups (20 oz.) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Pour on top of crust. Then bake in tub at 300 degrees for 60 minutes (if using a 9 1/2" pan), cool (outside of oven and tub) for an hour, remove from pan and refrigerate.
This pumpkin cheesecake got devoured so fast at Living Hope Church that I almost missed out on an opportunity to try and (importantly) evaluate the taste of this latest prototype myself. However, I noticed that there were almost no sweet alternatives (at least by the time I got to the food table) for that Sunday, which was the first one in, of all months, October, which itself may have been an additional reason (it was that pumpkin-oriented time of year) for the cheesecake's quick disappearance.

But I did get to taste it after all, and I felt that this one was great. I could indeed taste the pumpkin. The tartness seemed just about right. So Prototype 4 was ultimately a "smashing pumpkin" success.

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