From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If you are planning a traditional holiday meal, but would like to present classic Thanksgiving desserts in a new light, this silky seasonal cheesecake is a perfect place to start. The gingersnap crust is a perfect foil to the creamy pumpkin custard and I'm happy to report that the combination of crust and custard is simply delicious. The cake keeps well and it can be made and frozen for up to a week a week before you plan to serve it. If you freeze the cake, it will need to sit a full day in the refrigerator to thaw. I found the recipe for the cheesecake in Taste of Home magazine and they recommend a variety of garnishes that can be used when you serve the cake. Among them were caramel and chocolate syrup, as well as whipped cream and a dusting of crushed gingersnaps. I personally think the syrups are unnecessary and in the future I'll stick to a dollop of cream and let it go at that. The cake, obviously, is very rich, so small portions should suffice, especially if you plan to serve it at the end of a meal. While it is suggested the cake serves 12, it can be stretched to feed 16. This is a nice alternative to pumpkin pie and I do hope you'll give it a try. Here is how it is made.
Pumpkin Cheesecake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Taste of Home magazine
1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20 cookies)
1/3 cup finely Diamond of California Chopped Pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened, divided
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1) Place a greased 9-inch springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18-inches square). Securely wrap foil around pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, pecans and butter. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
3) For filling, in a large bowl, beat 1 package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in remaining cream cheese, one package at a time until smooth. Add remaining sugar and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.
4) Place 2 cups filling in a small bowl; stir in the pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Remove 3/4 cup pumpkin filling; set aside. Pour remaining pumpkin filling over crust; top with remaining plain filling. Cut through with a knife to swirl. Drop reserved pumpkin filling by spoonfuls over cheesecake; cut through with a knife to swirl.
5) Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 inch of hot water to larger pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
6) To serve, garnish if desired with whipped cream and crushed gingersnaps. Yield: 12 servings.
One Year Ago Today: Two Years Ago Today:Cheese and Cornmeal Batter Buns Julia's Curried Turkey Soup
Three Years Ago Today: Four Years Ago Today:Alu Ki Tikki Anadama Rolls