Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

How do other food bloggers find the time to take such beautiful, properly lit, tastefully staged pictures?  Is this something that just comes naturally to some people or do I really just need to set the time aside to layout my pictures better?  I have such food blog photo envy!!! I mean, just look at this picture - pie set on top of a non-fancy place setting on my non-ironed table cloth and only about 20 seconds to snap 10 photos while I have 15 guests waiting for Thanksgiving dinner.  It is a miracle that I remembered to make time to photograph this dessert at all.  I even made sure to take a photo of the cut pie.  We just won't talk about how there is clearly camera shake due to the low lighting and half a sippy cup in the top corner of the picture......

Oh well, I suppose this is just real (and busy!) life.  At least you get a glimpse of how cool this cheesecake pie comes out.  It's not a pumpkin cheesecake and its not just a pumpkin pie or just a cheesecake.  This dessert is a neat combo of pumpkin pie and cheesecake baked on top of each other.  I am not a pumpkin pie fan, and I can honestly say I don't think I have ever had more than a bite of plain old pumpkin pie but this pie combined with the smooth, creamy texture of the sweet cheesecake takes this pumpkin pie to a really delicious place.

The graham cracker crust and candied pecans add all of this lovely contrasting crunch texture to the velvety, smooth fillings.  The pie itself isn't overly sweet and it has a lovely blend of the beloved pumpkin pie style spices that are always popular this time of year.  You definitely will want to top this pie off with a little giant spoonful of freshly whipped cream, just to help tie everything together and add an extra layer of creaminess.  This pie would make a really lovely addition to your holiday table this year; I hope you give it a try!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Graham Cracker Crust

1 sleeve cinnamon graham crackers (about 8 cracker sheets)
4 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar

Place the graham crackers in a large zipper bag and crush with a mallet or rolling pin until the crackers become fine crumbs.  Add the melted butter and sugar to the bag, seal the bag again, and smoosh around with your hands until the mixture seems well combined.  Pour the crumbs into a springform pan (recommended) or pie plate and press slightly up the sides and along the bottom with your fingers to spread the crumbs into an even layer.  Bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes and then let cool on a wire rack.

Cheesecake Filling

8 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk or use an electric mixer to combine together until very smooth.  Pour the cheesecake filling into the prepared, cooled graham cracker crust.

Pumpkin Filling

3/4 cup white sugar
15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 cup whole milk, half and half, or cream
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk or use an electric mixer to combine together until just barely smooth.  Use a spoon to carefully dollop the pumpkin filling on top of the cheesecake filling evenly.  If you use a standard pie plate for your crust, all of the pumpkin filling might not fit, so that is why I recommend the springform pan method.  Place the pie on a baking sheet to prevent an oven mess in case you have any accidental overflow.  Bake the pie for 15 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350°F and continue to bake for about 45 minutes.  The pie is done when the middle looks set but still jiggles slightly when you wiggle the pan.  Cool the pie to room temperature and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.  Garnish with candied pecans (below) and lightly sweetened whipped cream

Inspired by King Arthur Flour

Candied Pecans

16 oz bag pecan halves (unsalted)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp water
1 egg white

Combine the sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  In another small bowl whisk the vanilla, water, and egg white until lightly foamy (2-3 minutes).  Add the pecans to the egg white mixture and toss to combine.  Pour the coated nuts into the sugar and mix very well.  Transfer the nuts to a baking sheet and bake at 300°F for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Let the nuts cool completely before using.  Note: I chopped my nuts and only used about 1/4 of this recipe for my pie but it is not very easy to split an egg white into smaller quantities, so I made the full recipe and ate the rest as a snack! They would be great in a salad, on ice cream, or give them away as gifts for the holidays!

Inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod

1 comment:

  1. Yum! Now I know what I am making for dessert on Christmas!