Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake—Prototype 8:
Happy Thanksgiving! This pumpkin update of November 2017 is based primarily upon a major cheesecake overhaul that I performed earlier that year.
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 5-10 minutes, depending on the mixture's thickness (closer to 10 minutes if thin enough to be fully distributed across the pan's bottom by gentle shaking, closer to 5 minutes if thick enough to require spreading out this mixture by pressing on it with a utensil and/or fingers), 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
1 1/2 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 the batter over the crust and bake this cheesecake in a hot water tub at 300 degrees for 90 minutes (if using a 9 1/2" pan). Then shut off oven and cool cheesecake down while still in it (and in tub), with door slightly ajar, for an hour. Afterwards, remove 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 from pan and refrigerate.

Pumpkin Cheesecake—Prototype 8

I brought this one over to my cousin Joanne and Jerry's house, where it was well-received at the Thanksgiving table. I took the rest of the cheesecake to The Home Depot the next day to be enjoyed by my fellow associates.

However, although this prototype was tasty, it came out too soft. The batter had a somewhat "melted" appearance by the time I brought it to my workplace. Even the crust ended up being too mushy. My lovely work of art was falling apart on me! I suspected that the main cause for bringing on all this instability had to do with the pumpkin butter, whose near-liquid characteristic would ultimately make both the batter and crust somehow "wetter".

So I made some pumpkin-specific mental notes for the future:
1. Increase the baking time—probably by about 15 minutes.
2. Increase the xanthan gum—probably by at least 1/4 teaspoon.
3. Increase the pre-baking time for the crust by about 2 minutes.

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