Friday, November 25, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Pecan Crust

The Thanksgiving dessert buffet.
Every year at Thanksgiving my family has the same 3 pies: Dutch Apple, Pecan, and Pumpkin. Sometimes we add in an additional dessert, but those 3 are always present. This year I decided to go crazy and try something different (always risky in my family) and make a Pumpkin Cheesecake instead of a pumpkin pie. Mostly because it was the Cake Slice Bakers cake of the month and I didn't want to make a pumpkin cheesecake and a pumpkin pie in the same month. November has enough desserts as it is. And I love both cheesecake and pumpkin pie, so, what could go wrong?

Nothing. Nothing went wrong. Everything went deliciously right. I thought this cheesecake sounded kind of complicated to make, but it was easy. I really enjoyed making the ginger-pecan crust. Ground up pecans and ginger smelled wonderful! And after it was baked the whole thing tasted like a delicious ginger cookie. Perfect crust. The cheesecake part was also fun and easy to make. I kind of wish it had tasted a little more pumpkin-y, but it was very tasty. I served it with the most delicious cinnamon whipped cream!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Pecan CrustThe Cake Book by Tish Boyle

1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
1/3 cup pecans
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold & cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Tablespoon cold water

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
20 ounces (2 1/2 8-oz blocks) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
4 eggs

To make the crust:
Position oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with 2-3 layers of aluminum foil (I did 2).

Place the flour, sugar, salt, ginger, and pecans in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the pecans are finely ground. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add the cold water slowly until the dough just comes together. Press the dough into the bottom of your prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the crust just starts to brown. Cool crust completely on a wire rack.

To make the filling:
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together pumpkin, heavy cream, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat on low speed until smooth. Mix in the pumpkin mixture, then add the cornstarch and mix until just blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and do a final mix by hand to make sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. 

Pour the filling in the cooled crust. Set the still wrapped springform pan in a large roasting pan. Carefully pour enough hot water into the large pan to come 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 70 to 80 minutes until the center is set but still a bit wobbly.

Remove cheesecake from water bath to a cooling rack. Carefully remove the foil and run a thin knife tip around the edge of the cake. This will loosen the cake and help prevent the top from cracking. Cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate the cooled cheesecake for at least 4 hours before serving.
The finished product, on classy aluminum foil.
Cinnamon Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Put all ingredients in a mixer bowl and beat on high speed with the whisk attachment until very stiff peaks form. Keep refrigerated. 
Very tasty with some Texas stout!


Ashley said...

woah, this sounds amazing. I love ginger... I'll have to try this recipe!

kitchen flavours said...

Your pumpkin cheesecake looks wonderful and the cinnamon whipped cream is a delightful twist to a plain whipped cream!

Emily said...

Oh My! Your pumpkin cheesecake looks DeLisH! Nice twist with the frosting!