The fall season is upon us. Just in time for Thanksgiving, we have a great Olive Garden recipe that combines cheesecake with pumpkin pie and then takes it to the next level.

Crust:
8 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup ginger snap cookies
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cheesecake Filling:
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
2/3 cups light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Sour Cream Layer:
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Whipped Cream:
2 pints heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Additional toppings:

Caramel sauce
crumbled gingersnap cookies

Prepare The Crust:

In a medium bowl combine all crust ingredients. Press crust into an 8-inch springform pan. Press the crust about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Refrigerate crust until needed.

Prepare The Filling:

Make sure all of the filling ingredients are at room temperature before mixing. Wrap the pure pumpkin puree with a couple of large paper towels. Leave wrapped for about an hour to remove the excess water in the pumpkin puree. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth, add eggs one at a time, and then combine all remaining ingredients for the filling in a mixer. Mix until very smooth. Remove crust from refrigerator, and pour in filling.

Bake cheesecake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, and then reduce temperature to 325 degrees F for an additional 30 minutes. When you remove the cheesecake it should have a slight wiggle in the center, the cheesecake will set up as it cools.

Prepare The Sour Cream Layer:

While the cheesecake cools, begin to prepare the seasoned cream cheese layer. In a small bowl combine sour cream, sugar, and spices. Blend well. Spread sour cream mixture evenly over the baked cheesecake. Place the cheesecake back into the 325 degree F oven for 8 minutes so the sour cream layer will set.

Prepare The Whipped Cream:

Allow the cheesecake to cool completely. In a medium sized bowl combine 2 pints heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and sugar, mix well with a blender or a stand mixer. Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Remove ring from the spring-form pan, and either pipe the whipped cream over the pumpkin cheesecake or spread with a knife.

To Serve:

Cut into 8-10 slices, drizzle the top of the cheesecake with caramel sauce, and then sprinkle over gingersnap crumbs.

Makes 1 Pie

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