This idea has been percolating in my brain for awhile. I like pumpkins. I like cheesecake. Could they combine into something cool like Voltron? Turns out yes, yes they can.
The pumpkin is a native squash of North America and harvested in autumn. Being Canadian and born in October, this pleases me greatly. How many other types of produce can be used as doorstops and in competitive sports? I’m dying to go pumpkin chucking now.
Good to know before you start:
- The proportions that I used yielded a cheesecake with a subtle flavour. If you like the bold taste of pumpkin and want that punch-out flavour you’ll need to increase the amount of pumpkin and spices used.
- Let the cream cheese sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
Time required: 2 days (overnight chilling)
Yields: between 40-64 pieces
Cost per slice: $1.42
Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $57.00
Special kitchen implements I used:
- electric beaters
- baking pans: 9″ x 13″ nestled inside a 14.5″ x 10.5″ pan
- tinfoil & plastic wrap
- flour sifter (for the sugar)
- 5 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
- 1¾ C graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 TSP ginger
- 4 blocks of cream cheese, softened (32 oz or 1,000 g)
- 1¼ C dark brown sugar
- ½ TSP cinnamon
- ⅛ TSP cloves
- ⅛ TSP pumpkin spice
- ⅛ TSP allspice
- ⅛ TSP nutmeg
- pinch of ginger
- 2 TBSP powdered cornstarch
- ½ C heavy cream
- ½ TSP vanilla bean paste
- 5 large eggs, room temp
- 1 C pumpkin filling
- 1½ C sour cream
- 3 TBSP granulated white sugar
- 1 TSP vanilla bean paste
Step 1 – using centre rack, preheat oven to 176°C / 350°F. Fill kettle and boil. After water boils, leave on Low for use later.
Step 2 – line 9″ x 13″ baking pan with foil, and grease the foil.
Step 3 – melt butter in sauce pan on Low.
Step 4 – measure out the graham cracker crumbs and mix in the ginger.
Step 5 – stir graham crumbs into butter and remove from heat.
Step 6 – press the crumbs into the prepared pan by hand and bake 10 min, then cool on rack.
Step 7 – in a medium bowl, combine: brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin spice, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cornstarch.
Stir them together, and since brown sugar tends to clump I ran it through a flour sifter. (This picture is before sifting.)
Step 8 – in mix master on Medium speed, beat cream cheese for 5 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl constantly.
Step 9 – once the cream cheese is beaten up, stir in the sugar mixture, one third at a time.
Step 10 – beat in the eggs, one at a time, don’t over beat.
Step 11 – beat in pumpkin filling.
Step 12 – stir vanilla bean paste into heavy cream, the add to cream cheese.
Step 13 – pour into prepared pan, and place that pan inside the large baking pan. Using the hot water from the kettle, pour water into the outside pan so it rises about halfway up the side of the pan containing the cheesecake.
Bake in oven 50 minutes. When you remove cake from oven, turn oven off.
Step 14 – in a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla bean paste to create topping.
Pour this onto the cheesecake and carefully spread it with a soft spatula.
See the little black flecks? Those are the pods from the vanilla bean.
Step 15 – place this back into the oven for 5 minutes (oven is off).
Step 16 – cool on rack for 2 hours, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Step 17 – in the morning use the tinfoil to lift the cake out of the pan. Use a hot knife and cut it into 8 or 9 strips, and then cut each strip into 5 or 6 pieces.
Step 18 – let pieces sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before consuming.
Verdict: I’m very happy with this. Initially I worried that the spices and pumpkin would be overpowering, so went easy on those amounts, but next time I’d increase it to 2 cups of pumpkin filling, and at least half a teaspoon for each spice. This particular cheesecake had a subtle yet distinctive pumpkin flavour. I garnished them with blueberries and fired up the espresso machine to make cinnamon dolce lattes for two. Boyfriend said, “Yum.”