Cheese and cake. Two of my favourite things in life. I genuinely believe that I would rather be dead than not be able to eat cheese. Yes, I know that’s pretty dramatic. Scarily, it’s also true.
So what better dessert for a cheese fiend like myself, than cheesecake?!
On the other hand, I am not a big pie person, and if I’m going to have one, I actually prefer savory pies to sweet ones (unless we are talking about either of my grandmothers apple pies, which is an entirely different story). So when it comes to what I deem to be the biggest pie day of the year in the US i.e. Thanksgiving, I am always left feeling a little lacklustre when it comes to the desserts.
In an effort to change that, this year I decided to combine the ultimate taste of Thanksgiving – pumpkin – with my favorite dessert. The end result was a dense, but not too heavy cheesecake that tasted exactly like pumpkin pie. Traditional pastry was replaced with a spicy gingersnap base and every bite delivered a tanginess that you can only get from a really delicious cheesecake.
For fun (and maybe because I have a slight obsession with it as well) I swirled some dulce de leche on top, which worked really well with the spicy pumpkin pie flavours. I took the cheesecake to Roofdeck’s parents for Thanksgiving, and I think it was a hit all round. But I did have tough competition, as if anyone knows how to make a mean pumpkin pie its Roofdeck’s Mum!
So here is to being thankful. For cheese. For cake. And for good people to share them with.
Pumpkin Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
Serves: At least 12, hungry, cheesecake loving people
- 2 cups gingersnap crumbs
- ¼ cup sugar
- 5 tbsps butter, melted
- non stick baking spray
- 16oz cream cheese, softened
- 16oz mascarpone cheese, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 15oz can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 5 large eggs
- 3 tbsps all purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsps vanilla extract
- ½ cup dulce de leche
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Lightly spray the sides of an 11 inch spring form pan with baking spray.
- Place gingersnaps, sugar and melted butter in a food processor and blend until you are left with fine crumbs.
- Press the gingersnap crumbs onto the base of your spring form pan and place in the oven for 5 minutes then set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheeses and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Beat in pumpkin then add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed to incorporate each addition.
- Add flour, spices, vanilla and salt; beat just to blend.
- Pour mixture on top of your base. Heat dulche de leche in the microwave for 10 seconds to loosen it. Drizzle over the top of the cheese mixture and use a skewer to make swirls on the top. It doesn’t have to look perfect.
- Place cheesecake in the oven and bake for about an hour, or until filling is just set in center and edges begin to crack. The filling should move slightly when pan is gently shaken.
- Remove cheesecake from oven and loosen the cake from the pan by running a knife around the inside edge.
- Return cheesecake to the oven and turn off oven. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 1 1/2 hours to cool down slowly and prevents cracking in the middle of the cheesecake.
- Remove from oven and refrigerate uncovered in pan for at least 3 hours, but ideally 6 hours or preferably overnight, before serving.