Alright, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
This is one bloody fantastic cheesecake. Like, really, really great, though it’s definitely a holiday thing. I don’t see myself waking up on a July morning craving a slice of pumpkin cheesecake (ok honestly, now that I’ve said that, I kinda can see it happening). With our Canadian Thanksgiving over, and the US one and Christmas coming up, I hope that at least a few of you will give it a shot.
I paired it with my spiced nuts as a garnish. Do it.
Oh yeah, there are a crap load of photos coming up. Don’t be dismayed by it, this is really a surprisingly easy cake to make
First, get out everything that you need: graham crackers, melted butter, sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, pumpkin puree (not pie filling), nutmeg, ground allspice, salt, cream cheese, fresh lemon to juice, vanilla, eggs and heavy cream.
These spice labels will be making it to the downloads section, I swear. These labels, and 3 for $1 glass spice bottles from the dollar store make for one hell of a fantastic looking spice drawer!
Throw the graham crackers in to a food processor and grind them up nice and fine.
Get your sugar, ginger, cinnamon and cloves together.
Add those to the food processor and pulse to mix.
Pour in the melted butter and pulse again until well combined.
Drop the crust mixture into the bottom of a 9” spring form pan (no need to grease the bottom).
Press the crust down into an even layer with the bottom of a glass. Throw it into the oven at 325ºF and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges just turn golden.
Now it’s time to get going on the filling. Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and salt.
Nice. Ignore those biggish chucks of spice, they’re from the allspice berries because I ground them by hand with a mortar and pestle. We’ll get those out later.
Lay paper towels out, three deep, across a baking sheet. Spread your pumpkin puree onto the towels in an even layer using a spatula.
Top with 3 more layers of paper towel and lightly press down. Leave it to absorb water out of the puree while we make the rest of the filling. (This is a really important step that will ensure the proper consistency of the final cheesecake).
Beat the cream cheese until smooth.
Add half of the sugar, beat, then repeat with the remaining sugar.
Beautiful! Remember to scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.
Place the fresh lemon juice and vanilla in a small bowl.
Remove the top layers of paper towels from the pumpkin puree.
Use a thin metal spatula to scrape up the pumpkin puree from the bottom layers of paper towels and set aside.
Add the pumpkin puree, lemon juice and vanilla to the cream cheese mixture.
Beat until well incorporated.
Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until well incorporated.
Come on, this is looking delicious already!
Beat in the heavy cream, you guessed it, until well incorporated.
And we’re done! Kind of, almost.
Get out a nice big roasting pan and put a kitchen towel in the bottom of it. This stops your pan from sliding around in the water bath.
Wrap the pan in two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. This is just an extra layer of protection to ensure that no water seeps in.
This is my mistake…I started to add the filling before greasing the sides of the pan with melted butter. At least I remembered before all the filling was in, right?
This is me waiting for the butter to melt. Really I just wanted to show off my fabulous apron. I LOVE this apron.
And here we go, back to business. Grease the sides of the pan with some melted butter.
I always run my cheesecake filling through a fine mesh strainer into the pan. For the average cheesecake it insures that any little clumps of cream cheese get filtered out. With this cheesecake though, one full of spices… well…
It ensures that all these big chunks of spices don’t end up stuck in your teeth.
Perfect! Now give it a gentle tap on the counter to get most of the air bubbles rise to the surface.
Place the cheesecake on the center of your tea towel.
Poor boiling water, very carefully, into the roasting pan until it reaches half way up the sides of the cheesecake pan.
Lovely. Now, very carefully, place the cheesecake in the oven and bake at 325ºF for about an hour and a half, until an instant read thermometer reads 150 degrees.
Well look at this, what do we have here!
Let the cheesecake cool in the roasting pan for 45 minutes, then move to a cooling rack and leave to cool until barely warm, another 3 hours, running a knife around the edges every hour or so. Then, wrap it really tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for another three hours. Patience is truly a virtue when making a cheesecake!
Viola! Top it with some spiced nuts, or maybe a bourbon whipped cream, or maybe both (both is definitely my plan for Christmas).
One last time: make the spiced nuts!
Come on, how could anyone resist this!
I think it’s official, I’ll be waking up on a July morning absolutely craving this cheesecake.
Here’s the printable: