It's coming up to Halloween, and I decided to fuse two American classics of pumpkin and pecan pie - except I fused them into a cheesecake. The creamy pumpkin, spiced with cinnamon and ginger, worked really well with the pecan nuttiness, and I think it'd be great as a thanksgiving dessert.
This recipe makes one 18cm cheesecake, but if you double up the ingredients, it will fill a 23cm tin.
* I make my own pumpkin puree as it's really easy, and has no added nasties in it. To make your own, preheat your oven to 180c (160c fan)/ 355f/ gas mark 4.
Peel and chop the quantity of pumpkin (or butternut squash) you need into bite size chunks.
Drizzle with oil and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife easily passes through the pumpkin.
Leave the pumpkin to cool, then blend until smooth.
Store the puree in the fridge until needed :)
For the base:
- 100g oaty biscuits (ginger biscuits would also work well)
- 40g butter, melted
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the filling:
- 240g (1 cup) soft cheese
- 100g (1/2 cup) light soft brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 100g (1/2 cup) pumpkin puree*
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 50g chopped pecans
- 1 tbsp treacle
1. Preheat the oven to 165c (150c fan)/325f/gas mark 3. Grease the base of a 18cm loose bottomed cake tin.
2. Crush the biscuits using a rolling pin (or in a food processor) until no large pieces of biscuit remain. Pour in the melted butter and cinnamon, and stir until well combined.
3. Press the biscuit mixture into the prepared cake tin. Use the back of a spoon to make sure the biscuits are stuck down well.
4. Prepare the filling by whisking the soft cheese with the brown sugar and vanilla. Keep whisking until all of the brown sugar has dissolved (and no clumps remain).
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until smooth. Divide the mixture evenly between two bowls.
6. To the first bowl add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon and ginger. Beat until smooth.
7. To the second bowl add the chopped pecans and treacle. Beat until smooth.
8. Pour the pecan mixture into the cake tin. Slowly add the pumpkin mixture and gently marble in. The two will mix, but you should end up with a nice pattern on top of the cheesecake.
9. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until when it is lightly moved, only the very centre of the cheesecake wobbles. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then lightly go around the sides of the tin with a knife. This will help prevent cracking. Leave to cool completely then place in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or overnight.