Pumpkin Pie CheesecakeTuesday, November 20, 2012
What’s better than pumpkin pie? Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake, obviously. Bringing together warm pumpkin spices, notes of ginger, and creamy dreaminess, this dessert is a must for the season. Plus, beautiful pumpkin swirls makes this dessert a real stunner, perfect for the holidays.
The crust calls for gingersnaps, so I upped the ante and went for the best – Miette’s gingersnaps. Extra buttery, assertively gingery, and sturdy. I had a hunch these would make a killer crust. Hunch confirmed.
I pulverized the gingersnaps in the food processor with a few spoonfuls of sugar and a pinch of salt. Then mixed it together with some melted butter, and pressed it into the pan to form the crust.
I used a springform pan, but you could just as well use a pie pan. I guess technically then you’d be making a Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie rather than a Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake…semantics. I promise, it will be devoured just the same no matter what it’s called.
As the crust baked, I set to work on the filling. In the food processor, I pulsed together candied ginger and sugar until the ginger was finely chopped. Then, I added the cream cheese, eggs, cream, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and processed until I had a smooth mixture.
I set aside 1/3 cup of this cream cheese mixture, and whisked the rest of it together with my pumpkin puree.
After tasting Pumpkin + Cheesecake, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to plain Pumpkin Pie. The cheesecake addition somehow lightens it up, makes it more luxurious, less sticky sweet.
Now for the fancy decoration. The beautiful swirls on top will be sure to evoke oohs and ahhs from everyone. This is the detail that makes this dessert a party favorite. I promise, it’s not as hard as it looks. Just pour the pumpkin mixture into the gingersnap crust and drizzle in the reserved cream cheese mixture on top. Now take a butter knife or handle-end of a spoon and make decorative swirls.
Voila! Look at that. You’re so fancy.
Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
Bringing together warm pumpkin spices, notes of ginger, creamy dreaminess, and beautiful swirls, this dessert is a must for the holiday season. (Adapted from Gourmet, November 2006)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Inactive Chilling Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
Yields: 8-10 servings
For the Crust
(Makes enough for a 9- to 9 ½-inch pan)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for greasing
1 1/2 cups (about 6 oz) cookie crumbs (8 Miette gingersnaps)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350ÂºF. Lightly butter springform cake pan or pie plate.
- Make cookie crumbs by breaking up the cookies and pulsing in food processor until finely ground.
- Stir together all ingredients in a bowl and press evenly on bottom of pan. If you’re using a pie plate, you can press up the sides too. Bake until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes, then cool on a rack to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
For the Filling
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
15 oz canned solid-pack pumpkin
- While the gingersnap crust is cooling, make the filling. Keep the oven at 350Â°F.
- Pulse sugar and ginger in a food processor until ginger is finely chopped, then add cream cheese and pulse until smooth. Add eggs, cream, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and pulse until just combined.
- Reserve 1/3 cup cream cheese mixture in a glass measure. Whisk together remaining cream cheese mixture and pumpkin in a large bowl until combined.
- Pour pumpkin mixture into gingersnap crumb crust. Stir reserved cream cheese mixture and drizzle decoratively over top of pumpkin mixture, then make swirls using a butter knife or handle-end of a spoon.
- Put the cake pan on a baking sheet and bake until center is just set, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then chill, loosely covered with foil, at least 4 hours. If necessary, very gently blot any moisture from surface with paper towels before serving.
Cook’s Note: If using a pie plate instead of a springform cake pan, you will likely have more filling than you need, so be careful not to overfill it. Cheesecake can be chilled up to 3 days (crust will soften slightly).