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Use Home-Grown Pumpkin For Pumpkin Cheesecake

Last spring my organic seed supplier had a special on pie pumpkin seeds. Naturally, I decided to grow pie pumpkins for the first year ever. This left me with a problem: I can only eat so many pumpkin pies. I did find they work well in pumpkin soup (you can find my grandmother's pumpkin soup recipe in an earlier post) but I still needed something different. I recently found it: pumpkin cheesecake. I tried many recipes and finally came up with one all my own that I love. One warning: if you bake this without a water bath it will likely crack on the top. I'm ok with this; I think it adds to the rustic, homemade look. I do put a pan of water on the shelf below and I find this minimizes the cracks, but it does not eliminate them. If the cracks are a problem with you, you will need to use a traditional Bain Marie, or water bath, and extend the baking time by 15 minutes.

Ingredients

Crust:

1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs (I like to use homemade whole grain graham crackers crumbed in my food processor)

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of ground mace

4 ounces of melted butter

Filling:

One small to medium pie pumpkin (it will need to produce 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree)

24 ounces of cream cheese (cultured cream cheese adds the best flavor, if you are able to procure it)

3 whole chicken eggs plus one yolk

1/4 cup of full-fat sour cream

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ground mace

1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves

2 tablespoons of all purpose flour

1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract

Directions

Heat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Split the pie pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy stuff. You can check out my previous posts for a recipe to roast the seeds if you don't want to waste them. Rub lightly with the oil of your choice. Bake until soft all the way through, this should take about 45 minutes. Cool slightly, then puree in your food processor. Set aside.

Put a pan of water on the bottom shelf of your oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground mace and 4 ounces of melted butter in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well. Press into the bottom of a greased 9 inch springform pan. Set aside.

Put the cream cheese into a stand mixer fitted with the beater paddle. Beat until completely smooth. Add the pumpkin puree. Beat till smooth and combined. Add the eggs and the yolk one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the sour cream, beat again. Add the sugar, beat again. Add the brown sugar, beat again. Add the cinnamon, mace, cloves, sea salt, flour and pure vanilla extract. Beat again.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Bake for one hour, rotating it halfway after 30 minutes. Turn the oven off, but don't open it and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature for 2 hours. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 hours. Enjoy!

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Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.