Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Can Of Pumpkin

Are you tired of pumpkin yet? How 'bout one more recipe? I was supposed to share this pumpkin cheesecake with you all last Sunday for The Cake Slice Bakers, but I waited to make this for Thanksgiving so I'm just now getting to it. I hope you'll forgive my tardiness!

When I moved out on my own into my first apartment (in 2000) I scoured my mom's pantry for canned goods and staples to take along with me. Part of my stash included a can of pumpkin puree. I didn't bake much back then but my mom wasn't going to use it, so I figured 'why not?'. Well 3 years later, Mister H and I got a place together and the can of unused pumpkin came along with us.

Fast forward to November 2005 and we are newlyweds and living in our new house! We decided that we wanted to host our first Thanksgiving in our home for all of our family- 16 in total. I prepped, chopped, basted, baked and mixed in preparation for that day. At 10 pm Thanksgiving Eve I brought out my trusty can of pumpkin puree in order to make a homemade pumpkin pie. I opened the can and the puree had turned army green! It was disgusting and hilarious at the same time. I promptly sent my hubby along with my Dad, who had come in town for the holiday, to the grocery store for a couple more fresh cans. They saved the day and I learned my lesson- canned pumpkin doesn't last through 3 moves. ha!

And in case you're wondering, I used a fresh can of pumpkin for this cheesecake. You can tell because my cheesecake is autumn hued and not mossy green. :-) It was creamy and fluffy, a little spicy and pumpkin-y, but not overwhelmingly so. I decided to make my own crust because the original called for ground pecans (which my cousin is allergic to) and crystallized ginger (which I don't like). I opted for a buttery oatmeal cookie crust with cinnamon in lieu of graham crackers and it was delicious. I garnished my cake with toasted pumpkin seeds and sweetened whipped cream. I tasted it at room temperature, but it was best eaten cold right out of the fridge. If you're not totally over pumpkin, I hope you'll give this a try.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with an Oatmeal Cookie Crust recipes from The Cake Book and Monica h

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For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground oatmeal cookie crumbs (about 12 cookies or half of a 12.5 ounce package of Mother's Oatmeal Cookies)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 pounds (20 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 large eggs

For the Crust: Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9x3 inch springform pan with baking spray. Cut an 18 inch square of heavy duty aluminum foil and wrap the foil around the outside of the pan. Set aside.

Place cookies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse cookies until they're finely ground.

Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl along with ground cinnamon and mix together. Add melted butter to crumbs and mix til all the crumbs are well coated.

Press crumb mixture into an even layer over the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crust turns golden brown.

Place the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

For the Filling: Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt until well combined.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as necessary.

Gradually add the sugars and beat until blended.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.

Add the pumpkin mixture and mix until blended. Then add the cornstarch and mix until just combined.

Pour the batter into the cooled crust.

Place the pan in a large roasting pan. Fill the pan with enough water to reach 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake in the water bath for 70 to 80 minutes, or until the center of the cake is set but slightly wobbly (the cake will set completely as it cools).

Remove the cake pan from the water bath. Place the pan on a wire rack. Carefully remove the foil from the pan.

Immediately run the tip of a paring knife around the sides of the pan, to prevent the top of the cheesecake from cracking.

Let the cake cool completely then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and whipped cream.


Katie said...

Its lovely the way food can stir up so many memories. Glad you didn't eat bad pumpkin!

The cheesecake looks divine. I fully intended baking one too, but things happened and it never came about. I've got to find pumpkin puree first too!

Bet it was delicious!

Yadira said...

This cheesecake really sounds yummy. I'm glad you didn't use the old can of puree because that definitely sounds like it could have been dangerous.:S Have an awesome week!

Coleens Recipes said...

What a funny story!! Your photos are fabulous, thank you for sharing this recipe, picky-picky hubby adores pumpkin.

cocoa and coconut said...

Pumpkin isn't used much in baking here in Australia, but I must admit this looks lovely. I love your piping and the seeds on top!

Debbie said...

Beautiful picture Monica, and the cake looks delicious!

Unknown said...

Gorgeous cake! I love the pumpkin story too!! LOL!

Meig Heyburn said...

Yum!! My mom insists I make pumpkin cheesecake every Thanksgiving. :) I use Rachael Ray's recipe, but might try yours next year. Her's calls for a gingersnap crust - yummo! Thanks for sharing!

Hennifer said...

Wow! Yours looks so amazing! I made mine too as I said I would but it didn't look anywhere near as pretty as yours and I didn't love something else about mine but I'm not sure what.

If I decide to give it a go again I'll have to check out this recipe

Healthy and Homemade said...

WOW that is the most beautiful pumpkin cheesecake I have ever seen!!

cybil said...

Oh! looks fantastic!!!

OvenDelights said...

What a great idea for the crust! I didn't care for the crust all that much, I will have to try this next time I make it :)

Unknown said...

I absolutely loved this cheesecake! I had only had cheesecake once before this and it had been so long that I had forgotten what cheesecake tasted like. This cheesecake convinced me that I like cheesecake! Yours turned out so beautiful and perfect. It looks amazing.

Emily said...

Love love love your presentation!

Ellen said...

I have to jump on the bandwagon and say I agree with everyone, the pumpkin cheesecake looks to die for! I can almost taste it right now. I'm not the worlds best baker, but I just might give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

I love the oatmeal cookie crust on this!

Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie said...

Oh wow, I have seen gingersnap crust but not oatmeal until now! Love it.

Anonymous said...

What size can of pumpkin did you use?

Monica H said...

This recipe only calls for one cup of canned pumpkin. I purchased a 15 oz. can and used about half if it.

Anonymous said...

I have not found canned pumpkin here in Germany...it's harvest time and I can make it using their Kürbis pumpkins which I make pumpkin soup from and the Kürbis nskes a great pumpkin puree. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Perfect Thanksgiving dessert for those who are tired of pumpkin pie--made it today and it has just enough pumpkin flavor. Oatmeal crust is delicious with added cinnamon. I often make cheesecake and the texture of this one was perfect. The only thing I may change is to add a touch more light brown sugar--I may not have packed my 1/2 cup down enough and it could have been slightly sweeter.

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