NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — News 8 a proud partner of Operation Save a life in Connecticut. This week we will have firefighters cooking their favorite dish.

Joining us in the kitchen is Kristen Trzaski, Volunteer Firefighter/EMT, Beacon Hose Co. #1 along with James Comeau, Junior Firefighter, Beacon Hose Co. #1.

Kristen and her son, James will be cooking Pumpkin Cheesecake, walking through and demonstrating the process, as well as showing the finished dish.

Trzaski and Comeau also talk about the following:

•           Since 2014, Everyday Hero CT Has been working with fire departments throughout Connecticut. To date, the program has received nearly 600 volunteer applications, brought in more than 400 new members, and held 960 recruitment/retention events.

•           The skills and experience gained as a volunteer firefighter are invaluable and have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of others. Those who join their local fire departments sign up for one of the most rewarding opportunities they’ll ever have.

Interested volunteers should visit or call 1-800-Fire-Line.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Graham Cracker Crust:

3 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 stick melted butter

1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

Press into a 9-inch springform pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. 

Set aside to cool

When cool, prepare the springform pan by wrapping it tightly with aluminum foil. Put the wrapped springform pan in a large roasting pan. This is to be able to bake the cheesecake in a water bath.


32 oz cream cheese (room temperature)

1 2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 Tbs vanilla extract

3 large eggs (room temperature)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cups Pumpkin filling (recipe at bottom)


Cream cheese, sugar & cornstarch together until well blended.

Having your ingredients at room temperature will ensure they blend well.

Mix in:

Eggs 1 at a time, vanilla & heavy cream scraping down sides of bowl making sure all ingredients are well blended. Slowly pour in 1 1/2 cups pumpkin mixture until incorporated.

Pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling into the prepared springform pan. Fill the roasting pan with enough water to come halfway up springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the internal temp of cheesecake is 160.

Remove from oven. Remove the springform pan from roasting pan. (If edges are stuck to sides run a sharper knife around to release, if edges are stuck the cheesecake will shrink and crack while cooling) Let sit until it’s room temperature then refrigerate.

Pumpkin filling:

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

Mix together:

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

2 beaten eggs

Sugar & spice mixture

The directions on the pumpkin purée can is for a pumpkin pie!