Last spring my organic seed supplier had a special on pie pumpkin seeds. Naturally, I decided to grow pie pumpkins for the first year ever. The five vines I planted produced over 100 pounds of pie pumpkins. This left me with a problem: I can only eat so many pumpkin pies. I can only give my neighbors and friends so many pumpkin pies. I did find the pumpkins work well in pumpkin soup (something I’ve eaten a lot of lately) but I still needed something different. I recently found it: pumpkin cheesecake. I tried many recipes and finally came up with one all my own that I love.
One warning: if you bake the pumpkin cheesecake without a water bath it will likely crack on the top. I’m ok with this; I think it adds to the rustic, homemade look. If the cracks present a problem for you, you will need to use a traditional Bain Marie, or water bath, and extend the baking time by 15 minutes.
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground mace
4 ounces of melted butter
One small to medium pie pumpkin (it will need to produce 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups pumpkin purée)
24 ounces of cream cheese (cultured cream cheese adds the best flavor, if you are able to procure it)
3 whole chicken eggs plus one yolk
1/4 cup of full-fat sour cream
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground mace
1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
Heat your toaster oven to 450 degrees F.
Split the pie pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy stuff. Rub each half lightly with the oil of your choice. Bake until soft all the way through, this should take about 45 minutes. Cool slightly, then scoop out the pumpkin flesh and purée it in your food processor. Set aside.
Lower your toaster oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground mace and 4 ounces of melted butter in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well. Press into the bottom of a greased 9 inch springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Set aside.
Put the cream cheese into a stand mixer fitted with the beater paddle. Beat until completely smooth. Add the pumpkin puree. Beat till smooth and combined. Add the eggs and the yolk one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the sour cream, beat again. Add the sugar, beat again. Add the brown sugar, beat again. Add the cinnamon, mace, cloves, sea salt, flour and pure vanilla extract. Beat again.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Bake for one hour, rotating it halfway after 30 minutes. Turn the toaster oven off, but don’t open it and leave the cheesecake in the toaster oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from the toaster oven and let cool at room temperature for 2 hours. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 hours.
Tips And Suggestions
Check out my other articles to find a recipe for homemade whole grain graham crackers. They make excellent crumbs for the crust.
Put a small cup (oven proof of course) of water in the corner of your toaster oven while baking the cheesecake. This will minimize, but not eliminate, the cracks.