This pumpkin cheesecake is basically a cross between a pumpkin pie and a New York style cheesecake, and what's not to love about that? It's the best of both worlds. And honestly, it's better than pumpkin pie in my opinion. (No on tell my grandma I said that 🙈 ) The crust is buttery yet crisp with graham crackers, while the inside is creamy and perfectly flavored with real pumpkin and fall spices. It's beyond delicious.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position baking rack in the middle of oven. Spray an 8" spring form pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and melted butter in bowl. Pour into prepared pan and evenly press down to make a compact crust. ( I like to use the bottom on a measuring cup for this)
Bake for 10 minutes.
In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, paddle cream cheese until smooth.
Squeeze liquid out of pumpkin puree and add to cream cheese. (I like to put my puree in a cheese cloth to squeeze all access water out) Cream together until smooth. Scrape down sides.
Add sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Paddle 1-2 minutes, scraping down sides throughout.
Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and lemon juice.
Add heavy cream and mix until incorporated, about 20 seconds.
Pour in pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until sides are fully set and center is still a bit jiggly. Be sure not to over-bake or your cheesecake will crack.
Let cool completely and chill until ready to serve.
Maple Whipped Cream:
In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk together all ingredients until medium to stiff peaks form. Top cheesecake just before serving.
Be sure to scrap down sides between every addition of new ingredients. This will ensure a smooth cheesecake.