1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks and left to soften at room temperature, about 30 m
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1 lemon
5 large eggs, left at room temperature, about 30 minutes
1 cup heavy cream
FOR THE FILLING- Bring about 4 quarts water to simmer in
stockpot. Whisk sugar, spices, and salt in small bowl; set
aside. To dry pumpkin (see illustrations below)- Line baking
sheet with triple layer of paper towels. Spread pumpkin on
paper towels in roughly even layer. Cover pumpkin with second
triple layer of paper towels and press firmly until paper towels
are saturated. Peel back top layer of towels and discard. Grasp
bottom towels and fold pumpkin in half; peel back towels.
Repeat and flip pumpkin onto baking sheet; discard towel.
In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat cream cheese at
medium speed to break up and soften slightly, about 1 minute.
Scrape beater and bottom and sides of bowl well with rubber
spatula. Add about one third of sugar mixture and beat at
medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute; scrape
bowl and add remaining sugar in two additions, scraping bowl
after each addition. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and lemon juice and
beat at medium speed until combined, about 45 seconds;
scrape bowl. Add 3 eggs and beat at medium-low until
incorporated, about 1 minute; scrape bowl. Add remaining 2
eggs and beat at medium-low until incorporated, about 45
seconds; scrape bowl. Add heavy cream and beat at low
speed until combined, about 45 seconds. Using rubber
spatula, scrape bottom and sides of bowl and give final stir by
Set springform pan with cooled crust on 18-inch-square
doubled layer heavy-duty foil and wrap bottom and sides with
foil; set wrapped springform pan in roasting pan. Pour filling
into springform pan and smooth surface; set roasting pan in
oven and pour enough boiling water to come about halfway up
side of springform pan. Bake until center of cake is slightly
wobbly when pan is shaken, and center of cake registers 145
to 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1 1/2 hours
(see note). Set roasting pan on wire rack and use paring knife
to loosen cake from sides of pan. Cool until water is just warm,
about 45 minutes. Remove springform pan from water bath,
discard foil, and set on wire rack; continue to cool until barely
warm, about 3 hours. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate
until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
TO SERVE- Slide thin metal spatula between crust and pan
bottom to loosen, then slide cake onto serving platter. Let
cheesecake stand at room temperature about 30 minutes, then
cut into wedges and serve.
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