Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/4 cups graham-cracker crumb
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 packages (8 ounces each) bar cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons pumpkin-pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, place rack in center.
In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until moistened; press firmly into bottom of a 9-inch nonstick springform pan. Bake until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Beat cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth; mix in flour until incorporated. Avoid overmixing to prevent top from cracking while baking. Add pumpkin puree, pie spice, vanilla, and salt; mix just until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next.
Place pan with graham cracker crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour filling into springform, and gently level top with spatula.
Transfer baking sheet with springform pan to oven; reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Bake 45 minutes. Turn off oven; let cheesecake stay in oven 2 hours more. Do not open oven door to avoid formation of cracks on top of the cheesecake.
Remove cheesecake from oven; cool completely. Cover top with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours.
To serve, run a warm knife on side of the pan and carefully unmold the cheesecake. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.