Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Thanksgiving in Canada is such a beautiful time of year.   The leaves are changing to vibrant fall colours.  The temperature is dropping, I love breathing in the cool crisp air.   It is also a wonderful time for baking!  This time of year I love baking with apples, cinnamon and, yes of course, pumpkin!

I have mentioned in the past, I am not a huge fan of pumpkin.   I despise pumpkin pie, it’s the texture that gets me.  I do like pumpkin cakes, especially the one I made a few years ago,  check it out here.  Also pumpkin donuts,  loaves, pancakes etc.

This year for Thanksgiving when asked to bring dessert no one would tell me what they wanted!  I am still off of sugar, so I could not have cared less what it was. That sounds terrible, but it is hard to ‘guess’ what people might like.  I used to just bake what I wanted  and hope for the best!

In sticking with the Thanksgiving,  fall season,  I went with pumpkin cheesecake.   I had absolutely zero interest in it…it’s right up there with pumpkin pie!

**several pictures are missing.  I am out of blogging practice and forgot to take pictures of some steps!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust:
1 1 /4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

3. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan

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4. Bake for approx. 8 mins, remove from oven and let cool as you prepare cheesecake filling

Cheesecake:
3 blocks of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin pure
spice to your preference (pumpkin pie spice, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg)

Directions:

1. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer and cream together until smooth

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2. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg.

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3. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

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4. Add spices and pumpkin – stir to combine

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5. Add to your prepared, cooled crust

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** here is where many people differ in their opinions.  I prefer and swear by cooking my cheesecakes in a water bath.  Others don’t feel it is necessary.  I like the even cooking, smooth top, less chance of cracking and the top never dries out.  Also, it cools slowly and continues to cook.  I wouldn’t do it any other way.

6. If you choose to use a water bath (Highly recommended!) double wrap your pan in foil and leave an edge.  This will prevent the condensation from dripping between the foil and the pan, which will result in a wet, soggy crust!  Fill your roasting pan with enough hot water to come, approx, half way up the pan.

If you are not using a water bath, just fire it in the oven!

7. Bake for about 1 hour 20 mins, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

Perfection!

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The next day… remove from pan… a thing of beauty!

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I also made some homemade whipping cream to top, if people wished.

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It was a huge hit!  Everyone loved it!  Rave reviews about the crust, adding the cinnamon really made the difference.

I had more than one request for this one to be made again.  If you are looking for a simple dessert to please a crowd, this is it!

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Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

 

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When I was asked to bring dessert for Thanksgiving I had to come up with two, because it is near impossible to please everyone with just one.  The first choice was Ferrero Rochet Cheesecake, and this Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing, from Cooking Classy.

I am not a huge pumpkin fan.  When I was a kid, I used to really like pumpkin pie but now I can’t stand it.  This time of year EVERYTHING seems to be pumpkin!  Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup and the list goes on, it might be a tad overkill.  I will admit I do quite enjoy the Pumpkin Chi Tea from David’s Tea (having a cup at the moment).  Anyways, I did not want to strike into pumpkin pies, I thought I would try something new.  This Pumpkin Cake looked delicious!

Pumpkin Cake

adapted from Cooking Classy

 

2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk

Directions:

 

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Prepare 3, 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.

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2. In a mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, set aside.

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3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar, brown sugar and 3 Tbsp of the oil until pale and fluffy (occasionally scrape down sides and bottom of bowl).

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4. Mix in remaining 1/4 + 1 Tbsp vegetable oil. Blend in eggs one at a time, adding in vanilla with last egg.

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5. In a bowl, mix together pumpkin with milk.

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6. Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with half of the pumpkin mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition. Batter will be thick

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7. Divide batter among three prepared cake pans and spread batter into an even layer.

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8. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool in cake pans 15 minutes, remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

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Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

 

12 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
5+ cups icing sugar

Directions:

1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy.

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2. Add cinnamon and vanilla

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3. Add icing sugar 1 cup at a time until desired consistency

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4. When Cake has cooled completely ice and decorate as desired

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I went a little rustic…

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This was a HUGE hit!  Everyone loved it!  I really wasn’t sure how it would go over.  Everyone is used to traditional pumpkin pie, but everyone was raving about it.  I did deceive people a tad…. I failed to mention in my description that it was Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing, I just called it Cinnamon or several people would not haven eaten it.  They don’t like cheesecake because there is cream cheese in it.  Though they have never tasted it.  They licked this up and loved it!

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I liked it as well, even though I don’t love pumpkin.  The pumpkin was not over powering, by any means.  The tang of the cream cheese really cut down on the sweetness and went perfectly with the pumpkin spice.  As I LOVE my sweet, I think I would like to try it with my regular butter cream and add the cinnamon.  I think that would be wonderful!

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As per many requests, this will be made again!

Thank you Jaclyn, of Cooking Classy, for a great recipe!

 

 

 

Pumpkin Carving 2010

It’s Halloween!  This is a day that I have always loved, though I hated to get dressed up.  Mom used to decorated the house with so many Halloween decorations it used to scare my little cousins (they are not so little anymore).  We also used to make a ton of Caramel apples for friends and family, now that I think of it, it was probably more the treats that I liked then the actual day, but anyways…..

Living in the country we don’t get to many trick or treaters but I still like to carve the pumpkin and get my treats all ready to shell out.  This years pumpkins were kind of dull, I just wasn’t feeling it.  Usually I put a cool Halloween picture on it, such as a witch flying past the moon, This year the best I could do were faces.  Non the less they are done, candles in them waiting for it to get dark.  Here’s hoping we get some trick or treaters.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Pumpkin Pie

This year for Thanksgiving I wanted to try making pumpkin pies from real pumpkin, not canned pumpkin.  I really do not care for pumpkin pie so I had to rely on some taste testers to let me know how it turned out.   I played around with a few recipes and tweaked them all a bit to come up with what I was told to be “The Best Pumpkin Pie EVER”, I will take their word for it because I thought it was gross!

Pumpkin Pie

Preparing the Pumpkin

These were some tough pumpkins, I tried to cut into them with a knife and it just wasnt working, I was afraid I was going to cut my fingers off.  So, down I go to Mom and Dads and we took the electric saw to them, new blade of course.  My only regret is I didn’t take pictures of this process, we had pumpkin bits flying everywhere! lol  Though it did bring a nice pumpkin fresh smell to the boathouse.

1. Cut pumpkins in half and scrape out all the seeds and goo.  Place them on a foil covered cookie sheet and bake at 350 F until soft.  This will very depending on your oven.

2. Scrape out the flesh with a spoon and run it though the food processor until very smooth, you don’t want stringy pumpkin pie…

I broke my food processor in the process.  It was my Nana’s so I’m sure it had to be over 40 years old, but I improvised and made it work by pushing the lock down with a chopstick. Needless to say a food processor is on my Christmas list this year.

The pumpkin was quite watery, I let it sit in a strainer lined with cheese cloth and lost a lot of the moisture, I would recommend doing this.

Filling

  • 3 cups of puree pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2  tsp clove
  • 1/2  tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix well with beaters and pour in pie shell of our choice

Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes then lower the temperature to 350 F and bake for another 45-60 minutes, depending on your oven, until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Apparently it was very good and made a real difference using the real pumpkin.  I’ve been told I am on pumpkin pie duty from now on, so they must have been not bad.