1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (See Note #1) (about 24 squares)
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
~ ~ Filling ~ ~
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 Tbsp brandy, if desired
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
4 pkg (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
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Let's Make It
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease 9-inch (I use a 9-1/2 inch pan) springform pan (see Note #2 about pan and baking) with butter. In small bowl, mix cracker crumbs, 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar and the melted butter. Press crumb mixture in bottom of pan. Wrap foil around outside of pan to prevent drips. Bake crust 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate about 5 minutes or until completely cooled.
2. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, with electric mixer, mix flour, pumpkin pie spice, brandy and pumpkin and coat bowl (don't scrape sides). Add cream cheese and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in brown sugar and 2/3 cup granulated sugar until smooth. On low speed, beat in 1 egg at a time until just blended. Beat mixture until smooth.
3. Pour filling over crust. (see Note #2 about pan and baking) Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes or until set but center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 30 minutes. (See Note #3 about alternative baking)
4. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on wire rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.
5. To serve, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Carefully remove side of pan before cutting cheesecake. Store covered in refrigerator.
~ High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Decrease butter for crust to 1/4 cup. Before heating oven, place small baking pan filled with 1 to 2 cups water on oven rack below center rack to help prevent cheesecake from cracking (leave pan in oven while cooling cheesecake). Heat oven to 350°F.