Last Canadian Thanksgiving I was finally starting to feel better and come out of my hyperemesis coma when we were invited to my friend Ryan’s house for dinner along with my brother and a few other friends of ours. While my brother cooked the main meal Ryan made dessert and it singlehandedly changed my dessert loving life.
If cheesecake and pumpkin pie fell in love and had a fancy baby, it would be this ridiculously amazing pumpkin cheesecake…oh man its good! So good that you’ll want to eat it all year long. But you won’t because it will feel slightly inappropriate to bake anything pumpkin flavoured in June and you won’t want to be inappropriate.
So like everyone else I waited patiently all year long just for a reason to make Ryan’s Cheesecake. I will stop here to add that I did contemplate inviting Ryan over for dinner at our place so he could make the cheesecake himself, but my brother beat me to the punch and invited him to his place instead…leaving me to my own devices.
On Sunday night, after the kiddos were asleep I got to work. I took Ryan’s recipe and only basterdized it slightly by adding cocoa to the crust, but yuuuuuum it made it so much better. I also slightly increased his pecan to cookie crumble ratio because I felt like it was needed. AND last but not least, I used dry roasted pecans instead of raw….because ummmm ROASTED is always a better flavour.
Actual Thanksgiving day we spent at home with samosas and a BBQ. No turkeys were harmed this year for our annual turkey dinner and the kids thought it was Halloween for some reason so they dressed up and demanded their friends dress up to.
But we had pumpkin cheesecake for dessert and that’s really all that mattered. Now I must wait another 12 months for a reason to make it again…probably for the best since it has more calories than I care to know about. I’m living in denial people and I like it!
Here’s how you can make your own deliciously over-caloric pumpkin cheesecake.
20 ginger snap cookies crushed (I used a food processor to crumble)
1/2 cup dry roasted-unsalted pecans chopped finely with a giant knife
1/4 cup of cocoa
1/4 cup of melted butter (I used salted butter because I like the extra salty flavour)
4 packages of room temp cream cheese, I used Philadelphia because I think they invented cream cheese
1 cup of sugar, and another 1/2 cup of sugar kept separate
2 tbsp corn starch
1 and 1/3 cup of canned pumpkin
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
First, preheat your oven at 350*. Next grease a springform pan and wrap it on the outside with aluminum foil doubled up. In a small bowl mix together the cookie crumbs, pecans, cocoa and butter. Then press this mixture into the bottom of the springform pan and place in the oven to bake for 8-10min.
In the meantime using a stand mixer, beat one package of cream cheese with 1/2 cup of sugar and the cornstarch until smooth. Add in the rest of the cream cheese one pack at a time alternating with the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Beat in one egg at a time until well combined. Add in the vanilla.
Take two cups of the cream cheese filling and put it in a separate bowl. Add in the pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well.
Now if you want to get fancy and make your cheesecake swirly on top do the following…however if you’re happy with non fancy pumpkin cheesecake skip this step and just put the cheesecake filling in the pan first followed by the pumpkin filling.
For fancy cake, remove about 1 cup of the pumpkin filling and set aside. Pour remaining filling into the bottom of the pan. Pour the cheesecake filling next. Then spoon the left over pumpkin filling on top and use a knife to swirl it. Disclaimer** I half-assed this part and my swirl was lack-luster.
Place the pan into a deep baking dish, fill with about 1 inch of water and place it in the oven at 350*. Bake for about 55-65 minutes but start checking for doneness at 55min. The cheesecake is done with the middle feels firm and the top appears dull (not wet).
Remove the cheesecake pan from the water and cool on a wire rack for 10min or so. Run a knife along the edge to separate from the springform. Let it cool completely. Then separate the spring form from the cake and put the cake in the fridge to chill. Mine totally cracked then but it still tasted amazing.
Serve with whipped cream, cool whip, dulce de leche, chocolate sauce, a sprinkle of cinnamon and extra cookie/pecan crumble on top. You’re guaranteed to be rolled away from the dining table upon completion.