Every Thanksgiving, and sometimes Christmas, I make Pumpkin Cheesecake. The basis for the recipe I use is from the Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book.
Here is my adaptation of the recipe:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 8-ounce pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 cup half and half
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. For your crust mix graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup sugar and melted butter until well combined. Press in to the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9 inch springform pan. Place springform pan on a cookie sheet and place in the oven for 5 minutes.
Place all remaining ingredients, except eggs, into mixing bowl and beat until smooth. (Start slow with this as the half and half may splash, once it starts to get mixed up you can up the speed.) Once it is looking smooth and well combined, add eggs all at once and beat on low only until combined. If you overbeat the eggs in the mixture the top of your cheesecake will crack as it bakes.
Spoon filling into the crust. Place in the oven for 1 hour, the center should appear nearly set when gently shaken.
This is the most time consuming part of making a cheesecake. Once removed from the oven place the springform pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Then loosen crust from the side of the pan with a rubber/silicone scraper and let sit 30 minutes more. After that, remove the sides of your springform pan and let sit for 1 hour. Finally, put the sides back on and cover and chill for at least 4 hours (I usually make this the night before I need it so I don't feel rushed).
Here's wishing you time to enjoy tasty treats this holiday season.