This Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap-Pecan Crust is perfect for all things Halloween, Thanksgiving, or even Christmas! So if you're looking for a dessert to add to your menu, this is the one!
Preheat oven to 325 F; coat a 9" springform pan with nonstick spray.
Process gingersnaps for the crust in a food processor until fine (remove any big chunks); transfer to a bowl.
Process crackers until fine and add to cookie crumbs. Pulse nuts until chopped and add to crumb mixture.
Stir in butter, 2 tbsp. sugar, and salt until sandy, then press into bottom and 1'' up sides of prepared pan.
Place pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove and cool slightly.
Beat cream cheese and 1 c. sugar for the filling in a bowl with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, spices, and lemon juice; beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically.
Pour filling over crust and bake 50-55 minutes, or until sides are set but center is still slightly jiggly. Remove cheesecake from oven (leave oven on).
Whisk sour cream and syrup for the topping together in a small bowl. Carefully spread topping over cheesecake, return it to the oven, and bake 15 minutes more, or until set.
Turn oven off, crack the door, and leave cheesecake inside for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool to room temperature, then cover loosely with plastic and chill overnight.
To serve, remove sides from the pan, then slice with a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry before each cut.
Optional, you can coat the outside with chopped toasted pecans once completely cooled. Garnish with whipped cream, gingersnaps, chopped toasted pecans and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Adapted from Cuisine At Home, Issue No. 66 December 2007