Thursday, September 17, 2009

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chestnut Crust

A great seasonal cheesecake with warm fall spices and a hint of chestnut.


Chestnut Crust

1/2 cup (125 mL) melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) finely ground gingersnap or graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp (25 mL) light or dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) roasted chestnuts, finely chopped


2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup (175 mL) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) puréed cooked pumpkin, fresh or canned
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon
2 tsp (10 mL) ground nutmeg
2 tsp (10 mL) ground ginger
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest
2 tbsp (25 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice

Whipped Cream Topping

1/2 cup (125 mL) 35% whipping cream
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
Candied chestnuts


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Line sides of a 9-inch (2.5-L) springform pan with parchment paper and then brush sides of parchment with 2 tbsp (25 mL) melted butter.
3. Stir together ginger snap crumbs, sugar, chestnuts and remaining melted butter. Mix together and pat into bottom and sides of prepared pan. Chill crust in refrigerator while preparing filling.
4. Make sure your eggs are cold and have all the other ingredients at room temperature.
5. In a large bowl or a food processor, cream butter and cream cheese together. Scrape down sides, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape sides again and beat in pumpkin.
6. Add eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, lemon zest, and juice.
7. Pour filling into chilled base. Bake cake in centre of oven for 1 hour. Leave oven door ajar, turn off heat, and let cake sit in oven for an additional hour to cool. (Cooling in the oven will prevent the cake from cracking.) Let cake cool slowly and completely before unmoulding. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, but ideally you should let a cheesecake settle for 24 hours in the pan before unmoulding.
7. Whip cream until soft peaks form then beat in sugar. Pipe or dollop 10 rosettes of whipped cream around the top edge of the cheesecake. Top each rosette with a candied chestnut.

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