Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake

What are these little pumpkins nested on whipped cream hiding? Could it be a tasty Thanksgiving dessert? Yes, I know that pic probably isn't the best, but I love it. The little pumpkin candies appear to be floating on a cloud, with just darkness below them. Like they hold a little secret.

Well, they do hold a little secret. See what they are nested on? 9" of pure pumpkin cheesecake.

See what I mean? Aren't those pretty pumpkins all lined up in a row cute?

I've been working on this Pumpkin Cheesecake for quite a while now. I first started making it when I was in California. While my family can be quite the traditionalist when it comes to some holiday desserts, I can always make this for lucky friends and family outside of Thanksgiving. Right?

When I first delivered this, the first thing I heard was - why don't you make something other than cheesecake? Ok, so I guess not everyone is a fan of cheesecake.

This recipe might convert you. It's much more of a pumpkin custard than it is a cheesecake. I put quite a bit of pumpkin in it. And, a ton of spices. Yes, a ton. Cheesecakes have quite a bit of fat in them. So, that gave me the perfect opportunity to overdose on cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. yes, I still love ginger.

Yea, it really does look like someone took a bite out of this one. It was good. I realized after nibbling at it for a while, that I needed to put the fork down and take the pic before the entire thing disappeared.

One thing I did want to mention about this cheesecake. I use Ana's Ginger Biscuits for the base. One package is usually enough, but I get two, since they shrink at my house. Yep, I love those too. And, they are amazing with my sister in laws pumpkin dip.

The final picture is a just in case picture. Just in case you worry that your cheesecake could never look like mine, never fear. This is how it looked before I piped on the whipped cream. I had to taste it, you see. Wanted to make sure it was tasty. (:grin:)

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Makes 1 9" cheesecake

For the crust:
8-10 ounces ginger cookies, finely chopped in a food processor (or in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin if you are feeling punchy)
1/3 c. finely chopped pecans
6 T. butter, melted

Combine all ingredients and press into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9" springform pan.

For the filling:

2 cups pumpkin puree
24 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/3 c. corn starch

Preheat oven t0 350. Fill a very large roasting pan 1 1/2" full of water and put in the preheating oven. Be sure your springform pan can fit inside the roaster.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese lightly just to soften and incorporate a little air. Add brown sugar and continue beating about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, until mixture is well incorporated. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and corn starch. Continue mixing until there are no lumps, and mixture is a smooth consistency.

Pour mixture over your crust mixture, and place your springform pan in the waterbath in the oven. Bake 90-110 minutes, until cheesecake just has a little jiggle left in it. If you are a thermometer freak like me, the middle should read about 160.

Remove from the oven, and the waterbath, and let cool at room temperature for 2 hours, then put in refrigerator overnight to cool.

Serve with whipped cream.

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