Friday, December 2, 2011

recipe: pumpkin cheesecake with a ginger browned butter crust...

Here we are- blog number 2 of pie bloggies! Let's give it up for pies!


As you know, I'm sort of spending some time giving you all some of my recipes for favorite pies. This Thanksgiving holiday is what really inspired me. I figured holidays are mostly about sharing and being grateful- so why not give what I can? I love to bake, love to create yummy recipes..and really should share them. Unfortunately some of you live so far away, that we'd never have the opportunity to sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and chat over a slice. So this is sort of my way of virtually doing so with you.

So, that being said- next up is Pumpkin Cheesecake. I've made this A LOT and...not to brag...although I totally am a little ;) people LOVE this when they eat it. It made sense to share with you all. I hope you love it.

Makes one 9" pie

For the Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean sugar
  • 4 tablespoons browned butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. To make browned butter, just place 4 tablespoons butter in a small nonstick skillet. Heat over medium-low flame until completely melted. Continue to cook until it foams and froths up. Once froth subsides a bit you'll begin to smell a nutty scent. This means you're there! Goes quickly, so don't leave. Start to finsih- about 5 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl, mix cracker crumbs, vanilla sugar, ginger, and browned butter until moistened; press firmly into bottom and up sides of a 9" pie tin. Bake until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Set aside.

For the Pie 

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) bar cream cheese, very soft
  • 1/2  cup + 1/8 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (you can make your own shown here, or just use canned if that's easier)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

1. Reduce oven to 325F. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth.

2. Mix in flour quickly, make sure not to overmix. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.

3. Add pumpkin puree, pie spice, vanilla, and salt; mix just until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated and scrape down sides before adding the next.

4. Place pie pan in a baking dish. Pour filling carefully into crust and gently smooth top. Transfer whole pan to oven; then CAREFULLY pour boiling water into outer baking dish until the water goes up pie pan about 1". 

5. Bake 30 minutes without opening oven at all. After 30 minutes, continue to check every 15 minutes. You're looking for your filling to be slightly puffy around edges and center, without cracking. The raised puff will go down while it cools. This is a thicker filling so the "jiggle test" won't really mean it's done. Look for the puffiness to tell if it is or not :)

6. Remove from oven; cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours.

**Freezes well. Just make sure you wrap tightly in plastic wrap and defrost overnight in fridge before eating.

A whole array of Thanksgiving pies!

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