October’s trip through Tish Boyle’s The Cake Book has been most enjoyable. I’ve rarely come across a cookbook where virtually every recipe begs to be tried as soon as possible. The fun intensified when I discovered that my dear friends Kate of Pie in the Sky, Mary of Alpineberry and Peabody of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody all owned a copy of this fabulous book.
I was thrilled when Kate, Mary and Peabody all (enthusiastically) agreed to take part. After some negotiating, it was decided that the recipe we would all try was one for a Pumpkin Cheesecake. It being the season for pumpkins and cheesecakes being delicious, we figured this was a good choice.
Now as I’ve mentioned before, I have an unusual relationship with pumpkins, and all squash in general. I love them, but they’re not very popular in my family as they’re simply not a food that we’re used to or that we grew up eating. Certainly, we’ll try any dish with squash in it (try everything at least once!). But I can’t say we have any particular inclination towards them.
This cheesecake may change that. While not very sweet, it has to be one of the creamiest cheesecakes I have ever tasted. While the cheesecake is very clearly a pale orange colour thanks thanks to the pureed pumpkin, the actual pumpkin flavour is subtle and tinged with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. I didn’t make the crust that the recipe calls for as I realized that I didn’t have any candied ginger. Instead I made a very basic graham cracker crust with a bit of cinnamon added in.
As I’m not out of the woods yet in terms of my busy days, I won’t be posting the recipe at the moment. I’ll update this post as soon as I can with my adaptation of the cheesecake. But if you want to see how it’s properly done in the meantime, please visit Kate, Mary and Peabody. They have put my efforts to shame and they have most certainly done Tish Boyle proud.
Ladies … you rock!
Creamy Pumpkiny Cheesecake
Adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle.
For the crust:
- 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like your crust)
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a bowl, combine all the crust ingredients. Mix well.
- Pat the graham mixture evenly over the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
For the cheesecake:
- 1-1/4 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1-1/4 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup vanilla sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 4 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Wrap the outside of the springform pan (with the cooled crust) in aluminum foil. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix together the pumpkin, heavy cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Set aside.
- With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until smooth. Slowly add the granulated sugar and vanilla sugar, with the mixer on low speed, until combined.
- Next add the brown sugar, on low speed, until combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium speed for a minute or two.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the pumpkin mixture. Increase speed to medium and mix for two minutes. Add the cornstarch and mix until combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and begin adding the eggs, one at a time, scraping down after each addition. When adding the eggs, keep the mixer on low speed, but increase to medium speed in between each addition.
- Once the eggs have all been incorporated, pour the cheesecake batter onto the prepared crust.
- Place the springform pan in a larger pan and add hot water to come one-inch up the side of the springform pan. Carefully transfer to the oven.
- Bake the cheesecake for one hour and then check to see if it’s done. If the cheesecake is set around the edges but a bit wobbly in the centre, then it’s done. If it’s not set at all, bake for another 10 minutes and then check again.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and immediately remove it from the water bath. Discard the aluminum foil and then place the cheesecake on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, refrigerate for at least six to eight hours before serving.
- Serve with whipped cream.
Note: I increased the amount of pumpkin puree in the cheesecake by a 1/4 cup. The original recipe also called for nutmeg but I omitted that. The original recipe did not require vanilla sugar but I thought it would be an interesting twist. It was very good and recommend it it if you have any vanilla sugar hanging around in your cupboard.