A Chai cheesecake is a fitting ending to any Thanksgiving...

A Chai cheesecake is a fitting ending to any Thanksgiving meal. Credit: Lauren Chattman

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

FOR THE CRUST

1 1⁄2 cups finely ground graham crackers (from 10 whole crackers)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

Pinch salt

FOR THE FILLING

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 3⁄4 cups sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

5 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large egg yolks

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper

HOW TO:

1. Spray a 10-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Tightly wrap a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil around the outside of the pan. Make the crust: Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and salt and stir until all of the crumbs are moistened. Press evenly across the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar and flour with an electric mixer until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

3. Remove 2 1⁄2 cups of the filling to another bowl. Add the yolks, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and pepper to the remaining filling and beat until smooth.

4. Pour half of pumpkin filling into crust, then half of plain. Repeat with the remaining pumpkin and plain fillings. Gently swirl a butter knife through the filling to create a marbled effect.

5. Bake for 12 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 200 degrees and continue baking until an instant-read thermometer reads 150 degrees and the cake is mostly set but still a little loose in the center, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and run a paring knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. Cool completely on the rack, 2 to 3 hours. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours and up to 4 days.

6. Remove the sides of the pan, slide a thin metal spatula between the crust and the pan to loosen, and slide onto a serving plate. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Makes 12 servings.

Top Stories