225 g chocolate wafers (2 cups crumbs)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
99 g butter, melted (7 tbsp.)
680 g cream cheese (3 packages), at room temperature
235 g pumpkin purée (1 cup)
12 g all-purpose flour (2 tbsp.)
1 pinch salt
150 g sugar (3/4 cup)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp. ginger, ground
3 tbsp. Port
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs, at room temperature
TO MAKE THE CRUST:
Preheat oven to 375 F/190 C (rack in center of oven). Line sides of 9″/23 cm springform pan with parchment paper.
In food processor, pulse wafers until crushed to fine crumbs. Add brown sugar and pulse to combine. Transfer to medium bowl, and stir in melted butter, until crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly.
Transfer mixture to springform pan and press evenly onto bottom (with flat bottomed measuring cup). Bake until crust is fragrant, 9 – 12 min. Let pan cool on rack. Lower oven temperature to 300 F/150 C.
TO MAKE THE FILLING:
In stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, pumpkin purée, flour, and a pinch of salt on medium speed, scraping down sides of bowl and paddle as needed, until very smooth and fluffy, ca. 5 min. (Make sure cheese has no lumps). Add sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.
Add cinnamon, ginger, Port and vanilla, and beat until blended, ca. 30 sec. Add eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat at this point or cheesecake will puff too much). Pour filling into cooled crust and smooth top.
Bake at 300 F/150 C until center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, 55 – 65 min. Cake will be slightly puffed around edges, and center will still look moist. Cool completely on rack.
Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hrs. (Cake can be frozen for up to 1 month).
To freeze cake: put unmolded, cooled cake on baking sheet in freezer, uncovered, until top is cold and firm; then wrap in 2 layers of plastic and 1 layer of foil. Thaw overnight in refrigerator.
Comment: This is another variation of the great cheesecake master recipe formula in “Fine Cooking”.