Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake With Ginger-Pecan Crust
Makes one 9-inch cake, serving 12 to 16 – really
Ginger-Pecan Crust 1 cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup pecans ¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger (this is expensive but necessary) ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes 1 cup cold water Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling 1 cup pumpkin puree ½ cup heavy cream 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg ¼ teaspoon salt 1 ¼ pounds cream cheese, softened ½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch 4 large eggs 1 can whipped cream – optional
Here’s What To Do:
Here’s what to do for the Crust Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of 9 x 3-inch springform pan. Cut an 18-inch square of heavy-duty foil and wrap the foil around the outside of the pan. Place 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. Press the dough into an even layer over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is just beginning to brown. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 325. Here’s what to do for the filling 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 to 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 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, over nights better, before serving. Squirt a dollop of whipped cream beside each slice for a lovely flavor contrast.