Sunday, November 20, 2011

Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Pecan Crust

This is my first posting with The Cake Slice bakers and I am pretty excited! We are currently baking from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle, and it so happens to be my favourite baking book at the moment! And I was thrilled when this recipe was chosen for this month's bake. The moment I browsed the book, this recipe was bookmarked, along with a few others!

But without the convenience of buying canned pumpkin puree off the rack, I would have to make the puree myself. Canned pumpkin puree is not easily available here, but fresh pumpkins are. The thought of making my own puree actually keeps me from trying out this cake sooner. We have pumpkins whole year round, so making our own puree is not a problem, that is if you can spare some time and effort. So now, I do not have any excuse not to go ahead and make the puree and start baking this cake!

The bottom crust is really nice. I could not find any pecans, so I just used ground hazelnut instead, which I happen to have exactly 33gm, the amount needed for! Co-incidence, maybe it was meant for this cake after all! It turned out really well, I really like the crust, with bits of crystallized ginger, also I do not have a food processor,I just used a pastry binder to mix everything into coarse crumbs, then I briefly knead by hand and need to add in about 3 tablespoons of flour as it was really, really sticky. It works out fine after that.

The cheese filling is really good. I use 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon instead of 1 teaspoon, as I want just a light fragrance of the spice. The sweetness is just right, it is not overly sweet and the texture is fabulous. I made the pumpkin seeds a couple of days earlier and got to stop myself from munching them all up!

Overall, this is one delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake. Tish Boyle did it again! This recipe is another wonderful keeper!

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Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Pecan Crust
(adapted from "The Cake Book" by Tish Boyle)
Ginger-Pecan Crust
1 cup (4.3oz/121gm) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1.9oz/54gm) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (1.2oz/33gm) pecans (I use ground hazelnut)
1/4 cup (1.4oz/40gm) chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup (1 stick/4oz/113gm) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon (15ml) cold water

Make The Crust :
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9x3-inch springform pan. Cut an 18-inch square of heavy-duty aluminium foil and wrap the foil around the outside of the pan.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, salt, pecan, 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.
  3. Bake the crust for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is just beginning to brown. Place the pan on a wire rack and cook completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 325F.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
1 cup (240ml) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspooon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 pounds (567gm) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (3.5oz/100gm) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (3.8oz/108gm) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon (0.3oz/7gm) cornstarch
4 large eggs

Make The Filling :
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.)
  4. Remove the cake pan from the 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.
  5. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours before serving.

Sugared Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup (2.5oz/70gm) hulled raw pumpkin seeds
1 large egg white
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons (0.9oz/25gm) granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Make The Pumpkin Seeds :
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Place the pumpkin seeds in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk the egg white just until frothy. Add just enough of the egg white to the pumpkin seeds to coat them. Add the salt, sugar and cinnamon, and toss well to coat the seeds.
  3. Spread the seeds in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake, tossing them occasionally with a metal spatula, for 15 to 20 minutes, until they begin to dry and colour. Place the pan on a wire rack and cook completely.
  4. With your fingers, separate any clumps of seeds. (The seeds can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week).
  5. To serve, remove the side of the pan and slice the cake with a thin-bladed sharp knife, wiping the knife clean between each cut. Garnish each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of sugared pumpkin seeds.
Store in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for up to 5 days.

Classic Whipped Cream
Makes 3 cups
1-1/2 cups (360ml) heavy cream
3 tablespoons (0.7oz/21gm) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. In the chilled bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, whip the cream at high speed just until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until soft peaks form. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate.
(Store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 hours).


  1. Thanks a lot for posting such a delicious and unique looking cake. Excellent clicks.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  2. Omg, this cheesecake looks absolutely heavenly! Fabulous recipe and I bet that the hazelnut crust is amazing, too. And your photos are fab!

  3. wow, your cheesecake looks fantastic. i've a tasted a pumpkin cheesecake once before and i like it but i really seldom make cheesecakes, find it long to finish the whole cake. Thanks for sharing how to make pumpkin seeds from raw too!

  4. You good lor..get to try out the book first.

  5. How lucky are you to have Pumpkins all year round??? How lucky am I to visit today. I just found out I'm having company for Thanksgiving. This Pumpkin Cheesecake will be just perfect! I love your adjustments. I bet it tasted!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  6. Pumpkin in cheesecake sounds wonderful and yours certainly looks perfect, right down to the crust!

  7. Looking great! Those pumpkin seeds sure tasted good too

    I cut up my round cake into small portions to giveaway and in a flash, everythings almost gone.

  8. Yours turned out so pretty! And your slice cutting skills are really good. I ended up tearing a bit of my edges when I was running the knife around the edges, whoops. :)

  9. que lindo corte es una de mis debilidadades comer éste pastel y con calabaza mucho más,abrazos hugs,hugs.

  10. I love pumpkin cheesecake and the crust in this recipe sounds wonderful! I wish my family loved it as much as I do - I have to stick to traditional pumpkin pie for our holidays.

  11. Did you use a regular springform pan or something else? You have such a nice crisp edge at the top of the cake - mine came out much more rounded. Your pictures are great - lovely job!

  12. eeehy! Kitchen, your pumpkin cheescake look delicious and nice!!! Love it!! gloria

  13. It looks really delicious - I couldn't partake this monts - really regretting that now!!!

  14. Great job on this cheesecake down to making your own puree!
    Have a great week ahead!

  15. Wat a gorgeous,rich looking cheesecake.

  16. Wow, creamy cheese plus pumpkin...excellent combo...

  17. I love the idea of the ginger pecan crust. Talk about taking a cheesecake to another level! It looks incredible. So can you send me a piece over? If only we were neighbors!

  18. Una tarta rica!!
    Y con jengibre bien.
    Un saludito

  19. I love the substitution of hazelnuts--and it's awesome that you made your own pumpkin puree!

  20. Aren't you glad that you decided to go ahead and make this cake?? This really looks delightfully scrumptious :D

  21. hi kitchen flavor, ow, looking at your photos is enough to tempt me to try out this recipe..bookmarked with many thanks- yeah, yours looks cool and clean :)

  22. wow...I'm juts drooling over these pics...I love cheesecake...n i loved this version of cheesecake

  23. wow..cant wait to grab a piece now..

    A well-deserved award awaits you at my page please pick it up.
    Tasty Appetite

  24. I bet the hazelnuts made a wonderful substitution!

  25. This is brilliant. I'm drooling over this crust. I bet that makes just about any cheesecake delicious. Glad you're in this cooking group ;)

  26. I agree with Becca, I had trouble slicing mine :)

  27. This looks really good! I cooked up a big pumpkin last week and only used some of it for pie and muffins- the rest I froze for later. I'm saving this recipe for some of that pumpkin! :)