This month’s Cake Slice Bakers recipe was a perfect choice for November! Rich with Fall flavors like pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon and pecans, this is a creamy and very rich dessert, perfect for a Thanksgiving (or any other) celebration.
I mentioned before that one of the reasons I joined the Cake Slice group is because I haven’t made a lot of cakes. That isn’t true for me for cheesecake, though. I’ve actually made a bunch of those and they’re a hit every time. I love making cheesecake! Everyone is so impressed and I do love myself a good slice o’ creamy cheesecake.
I’m told a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of making cheesecake. Really – you can do it! They are actually very easy to make – just allow yourself plenty of time to make, bake and cool the cake, then chill overnight. Other than that little issue of thinking ahead, the procedure itself is a snap. And once it’s made, it will last a good while. Being rich and decadent, a little slice’ll do ya.
Although pumpkin isn’t a favorite flavor at my house, this is still a great recipe and one I highly recommend to anyone who *does* love pumpkin and wants to impress the in-laws (or whomever). I especially liked the garnish on this recipe – the candied pumpkin seeds are my favorite part! These, alone, would make a great snack to have around the house during the holidays, and they are quick and simple to make (just go easy on the egg white – only put the minimum amount needed to coat the seeds).
This was fun and easy to make and the end result is beautiful and has great texture. So if you’re still looking for a gorgeous dessert to wow your guests at Thanksgiving, look no further! I present for your enjoyment, Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Pecan Crust.
Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Pecan Crust
- 1 cup (4.3 oz) all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (1.9 oz) light brown sugar firmly packed
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 1/3 cup (1.2 ox) crystallized ginger chopped
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter cold, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 tablespoon water cold
- 1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 pounds (567 g) cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup (3.5 oz) sugar
- 1/2 cup (3.8 oz) light brown sugar firmly packed
- 1/4 tablespoon (0.3 oz) cornstarch
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (2.5 oz) hulled raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 large egg white
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons (0.9 oz) sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9×3″ springform pan. Cut an 18″ square of heavy duty aluminum foil and wrap around the outside of the pan.
Place the flour, sugar, salt, pecans, and ginger in the bowl of a food processor and process until the pecans are finely ground. Add the butter and process until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add the water and process until the dough starts to come together. Pres the dough into an even layer over the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake the crust for 25-30 minutes, until it is jut beginning to brown. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 325.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Gradually add the sugars and beat until blended. Add the pumpkin mixture and mix until blended. Add the cornstarch and mix just until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Scrape the batter into the cooled crust. Place the wrapped pan in a roasting pan or large baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake in the water bath for 70-80 minutes, 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, and carefully loosen the foil. Immediately run the tip of a paring knife around the sides of the pan, to prevent the top from cracking. Let the cake cool completely.
Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours before serving.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Place the pumpkin seeds in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk the egg white just until frothy. Add just enough of the egg white to the pumpkin seeds to coat them. Add the salt, sugar and cinnamon, and toss well to coat the seeds.
Spread the seeds in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake, tossing them occasionally with a metal spatula, for 15-20 minutes, until they begin to dry and color. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.
With your fingers, separate any clumps of seeds. The seeds can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
To serve, remove the side of the pan and slice the cake with a thin-bladed sharp knife, wiping the knife clean between each cut. Garnish each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of sugared pumpkin seeds.
Store in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for up to 5 days.