Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake—Prototype 9:
A year has passed since I made my previous—and excessively soft—pumpkin prototype. With Thanksgiving 2018 approaching, it was time to take on this flavor again, this time with a hopefully much more stable approach (which would include "cranking up" the crust's pre-bake time to 15 minutes, among other changes).
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 15 minutes (if the crust is extremely thick however, closer to 10 minutes might be sufficient—on the other hand, the mixture is a lot more likely to be thin enough to require a good 15 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
1 3/4 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 105 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 9

I sought to use pumpkin-flavored chips for this cheesecake, just like I had in the past. However, to my surprise, I could not find any upon my searching for them in grocery stores this fall. So I settled for caramel chips instead.

Like the previous pumpkin prototype from last year, I brought this latest one over to my cousin Joanne and Jerry's house for Thanksgiving, where quite a few seemed thankful for it.

It looked like the stability improved somewhat for this one, including the crust. While preparing the batter, I considered boosting the xanthan gum outright to 2 teaspoons, but I ended up going more conservatively with 1 3/4. By the time I served my latest pumpkin cheesecake, however, I felt that it could still use more firmness. Next time: 2 teaspoons—at least!

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