Actually, Martin's Daughter Rene Estevez is a trained pastry chef. (Maybe that's why President Bartlett is such a foodie!) Although she does some acting (she has been in the West Wing as Nancy), she'll be known in my heart for this wonderful cheesecake. Yeah, it maybe Martin's favorite, it's one of mine as well. A cheesecake fit for a President!
Martin Sheen's Favorite Pumpkin Cheesecake
9 whole graham crackers broken (about 4 ounces)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 hour 45 minutes 15 mins prep
To make the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Wrap a couble layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil around the outside of a 10-inch sprinform pan. (The idea is to make it watertight). This is very important or you will have a soggy crust.
Combine the graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor.
Process until the graham crackers are very finely ground.
Drizzle the melted butter over.
Pulse until the crumbs begin to stick together.
Press the crumbs over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan.
Bake in the middle of the oven until the crust is slightly golden, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool while preparing the filling.
To make the Filling:
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy.
Beat the eggs one at a time.
Add the pumpkin and the remaining ingredients.
Beat just until mixed.
Pour the filing into the prepared crust.
Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan and add hot water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake the cheesecake until the filling is slightly puffed and softly set and the top is golden, about 1 1/2 hours.
Transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack to cool.
Cover and refrigerate the cake overnight.
Use a knife to cut around the side of the pan to loosen the cheesecake.
Release the pan sides, cut the cheesecake into wedges, and serve.