Directions for Graham cracker crust:
Procedure for Pie Filling
- Prepare your 10-inch springform pan. Use pan bottom to trace circle on parchment paper. Cut out circle leaving two inch-square tabs at the 3 and 6 o’clock positions (more on that later). Cut strips of parchment paper equal to the height of your pan and enough strips too around the inside of the pan. Spray the inside of the assembled pan lightly with non-stick vegetable oil spray. Wipe off excess. Place circle on the bottom of the pan and fold the little tabs up against the side of the pan. Line the inside of the pan with ths strips. A small spritz of the non-stick spray will help the overlapping strips stick together. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine Graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Mix. In oven- or microwave-safe bowl, melt butter, using just enough heat to melt butter - just melted but not hot. Combine butter and crumbs and mix well.
- I have a small coffee scoop measuring cup. It is made of plastic, has a square edge on the bottom and the sides are almost straight up and down and the bottom is flat. It is an almost perfect tool to form the crust. Place about half of the crumb and butter mixture on the parchment paper in the bottom of the pan. Using your plastic coffee scoop or a similar tool, smooth out the crumbs forming a layer about 1/8-inch thick. Mover the excess crumb mixture towards the sides. With the side and square bottom edge of the tool, press the crumbs against the side of the pan forming the side crust. Add spoonfuls of crumbs as needed to form the crust up the side of the pan about 1 ½ inches. Carefully place the prepared crust in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
- Use a mixer to cream the cheese until smooth. Slowly add the sugars while continually mixing. Mix until mixture is smooth. Add two of the eggs, one at a time waiting until each is incorporated, mix until well blended. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Mix the pumpkin, the remaining three eggs, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Mix until well combined. Add to the cream cheese mixture and blend well.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for one-hour.
Preparing the topping and finishing the cake
- In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Stir in walnuts.
- Gently spoon topping mixture over the hot cheesecake and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
- Cool for an hour on a rack or until cake separates from the side of the pan. Remove the outer ring of the spring form pan, peel away the parchment strips and allow the cake to cool completely. Refrigerate over night.
On very dry days, it might help to prevent cracking if you have a roasting pan or jelly roll pan with a quart of tea-kettle hot water on the bottom rack of the oven when you are baking the cheesecake.